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World's first cloned horse is born

The foal could open the gates to recreating racecourse winners, but was the only success from over 800 cloned embryos

 

Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, was put down on Friday afternoon, after developing a progressive lung disease.

Dolly's birth six-and-a-half years' ago caused a sensation around the world. But as many sheep live to twice this age, her death will refuel the intense debate over the health and life expectancy of cloned animals.

The type of lung disease Dolly developed is most common in older sheep. And in January 2002, it was revealed that Dolly had developed arthritis prematurely. She was cloned using a cell taken from a healthy six-year-old sheep, and was born on 5 July 1996 at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Institute's Harry Griffin says: "Sheep can live to 11 or 12 years of age. A full post mortem is being conducted and we will report any significant findings". Following the post mortem, Dolly will be donated to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, where she will be stuffed and put on display.

Dolly the sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell, was put down on Friday afternoon, after developing a progressive lung disease.

Dolly's birth six-and-a-half years' ago caused a sensation around the world. But as many sheep live to twice this age, her death will refuel the intense debate over the health and life expectancy of cloned animals.

The type of lung disease Dolly developed is most common in older sheep. And in January 2002, it was revealed that Dolly had developed arthritis prematurely. She was cloned using a cell taken from a healthy six-year-old sheep, and was born on 5 July 1996 at the Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland.

The Institute's Harry Griffin says: "Sheep can live to 11 or 12 years of age. A full post mortem is being conducted and we will report any significant findings". Following the post mortem, Dolly will be donated to the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, where she will be stuffed and put on display.

Short telomeres

Some cloned mammals, including Dolly, have shorter telomeres than other animals of the same age. Telomeres are pieces of DNA that protect the ends of chromosomes. They shorten as cells divide and are therefore considered a measure of ageing in cells.

The only study of cloned mammals that have lived long enough to determine any effect on lifespan revealed that the mice involved died prematurely. The research was conducted at the National Institute of Infectious Diseases in Tokyo, Japan, and published in February 2002. Other cloned animals appear normal and healthy, for example the 24 calf clones created by US cloning company Advanced Cell Technology, but these have yet to live long enough to draw any conclusions.

On 2 February 2003, Australia's first cloned sheep died unexpectedly at the age of two years and 10 months. The cause of death is unknown and the carcass was quickly cremated, as it was decomposing

 

 

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