LONDON, England -- Dolly, the world's first cloned sheep, has been
euthanized after being diagnosed with progressive lung disease,
the Roslin Institute has said.
The decision was taken to end her life at the age of 6 after a
veterinary examination confirmed the lung disease, a statement from
the institute said.
"Sheep can live to 11 or 12 years of age and lung infections
are common in older sheep, particularly those housed inside,"
said Dr. Harry Griffin, head of the institute.
"A full post-mortem is being conducted and we will report
any significant findings."
The Second Creation:
Dolly and the Age of Biological Control
Ian Wilmut and Keith Cambell are the creators of Dolly the cloned
sheep. They are also two of the three authors of this book. The
book is all about how the historic event of cloning a mammal for
the first time in history came about. It is wonderful reading and
contains some great scientific insights. ...
Human cloning has grabbed people's imagination, but that is merely
a diversion--and one we personally regret and find distasteful.
We did not make Dolly for that ... Our work completes the biotechnological
trio: genetic engineering, genomics, cloning. It also provides an
extraordinarily powerful scientific model for studying the interactions
of the genes and their surroundings--interactions that account for
so much of development and disease. Taken together, the new biotechnologies
and the pending scientific insights will be immensely powerful.
Truly they will take humanity into the age of biological control.
The cloning of Dolly in 1996 from the cell of an adult sheep was
a pivotal moment in history. For the first time, a team of scientists,
Led by Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell at the Roslin Institute near
Edinburgh, was able to clone a whole mammal using a single cultured
adult body cell, a breakthrough that revolutionized three technologies
and brought science ever closer to the possibility of human cloning.
In this definitive account, the scientists who accomplished this
stunning feat explain their hypotheses and experiments, their conclusions,
and the implications of their work. Researchers have already incorporated
into sheep the gene for human factor IX, a blood-clotting protein
used to treat hemophilia. In the future, cultures of mammary cells
may prove to be valuable donor material, and genetically modified
animal organs may be transplanted into humans. Normal pig organs,
for example, are rapidly destroyed by the human immune system, but
if altered genetically, they could alleviate the serious shortage
of available organs. Genetically engineered sheep are also expected
to be valuable as models for genetic defects that mimic human disorders
such as cystic fibrosis, and for cell-based therapies for diseases--such
as Parkinson's, diabetes, and muscular dystrophy--that lack universally
dependable treatments. But what are the ethical issues raised by
this pioneering research, and how are we to reconcile them with
the enormous possibilities? Written with award-winning science writer
Colin Tudge, The Second Creation is a Landmark work that details
the most exciting and challenging scientific discovery of the twentieth
century--with the furthest-reaching ramifications for the twenty-first.
About the Authors
IAN WILMUT studied embryology at Nottingham University and received
his doctoral degree at Cambridge University before joining the Animal
Breeding Research Station, an independent research institution that
eventually became the Roslin Institute. He was the Leader of the
team that cloned Dolly.
KEITH CAMPBELL studied microbiology at Queen Elizabeth College,
London, and obtained a D.Phil. from the University of Sussex. A
cell biologist and embryologist now working at the University of
Nottingham, he joined the Roslin Institute in 1991 to work on the
project that resulted in Dolly.
COLIN TUDGE was educated at Cambridge University, where he majored
in zoology. A writer and broadcaster, he is also a Research Fellow
at the Centre for Philosophy at the London School of Economics.
Tudge is the author of more than a dozen books, including, most
recently, The Variety of Life: A Survey and a Celebration of All
the Creatures That Have Ever Lived, published by Oxford University