Published: 22nd February 2021
#ThrowBackToday: When mankind cloned a sheep and made the feat known 24 years ago today
In today's #TBT, we introduce you to Dolly. It is a sheep who was cloned. Not the first one though, but it gained a lot of media attention and lived on for six years before she was euthanised
Do you know who the world's most famous sheep is? No, it's not the one from the rhyme Baa Baa Black Sheep. It's Dolly! It's famous because it is the first mammal to be cloned, not the first animal though, mind you! Yet, what made it unique was that it was the first-ever to be cloned from an adult cell, a six-year-old sheep.
Though this Finn Dorset's birthday technically is on July 5, 1996, the announcement was made on February 22, 1997. And oh, the ripples this news created. It featured in a commercial alongside Scottish scientists and in magazines and journals alike, even dubbed as the breakthrough of the year!
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It was at Scotland's Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh, that she was cloned and it lived its entire life there. After being bred with a Welsh Mountain ram, she went on to birth six healthy lambs. But soon, progressive lung disease and severe arthritis weakened her severely. So much so that she had to be euthanised. She lived for over six years, though their average life is about 11 or 12. Her body now rests in peace at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and is one of the most popular exhibits there.