Thursday, February 23, 2017
Dolly the Sheep’s Fellow Clones
Dolly the Sheep started her life in a test tube in 1996 and died just six years later. When she was only a year old, there was evidence that she might have been physically older. At five, she was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. And at six, a CT scan revealed tumors growing in her lungs, likely the result of an incurable infectious disease. Rather than let Dolly suffer, the vets put her to rest.
Poor Dolly never stood a chance. Or did she?
Meet Daisy, Diana, Debbie and Denise. “They’re old ladies. They’re very healthy for their age,” said Kevin Sinclair, a developmental biologist who, with his colleagues at the University of Nottingham in Britain, has answered a longstanding question about whether cloned animals like Dolly age prematurely... (continues)
...So why clone boring sheep in the first place? Twenty years ago, the goal wasn’t to create a copy of a super cool animal (although people do want to clone endangered ones). The goal was to create transgenic animals — those with foreign genes inserted into their genomes — that could be used to make stem cells or proteins to treat diseases. The original sheep cloners were working with a company that hoped to extract a human protein from sheep milk that would treat diabetes.
‘Bring Back the King,’ a Gung-Ho Guide to Resurrecting Species-
A book by the cell biologist and journalist Helen Pilcher cheerfully explores advances in cloning that could be used to revive departed species.