Dolly (sheep)

Dolly the Sheep ( born July 5, 1996 Roslin ( Midlothian ), † 14 February 2003) was a Welsh mountain sheep, and the first from a differentiated somatic cell cloned mammal.


Dolly was the first mammal that was witnessed by a cloning procedure, serve as donors of genetic information in the differentiated, adult cells. In the "production" of Dolly the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh in Scotland 277 oocytes (Scottish Blackface ) were incubated with nuclei from the udder cells of the donor animal, Finn Dorset, vaccinated. This resulted in 29 embryos, one of which, Dolly survived. Surrogate mother was also a Scottish Blackface sheep. As a spiritual father Dollys first was the British embryologist Ian Wilmut, whose research results were presented for the first time in the journal Nature on 27 February 1997. Actually, however, Keith Campbell of the producers of Dolly the sheep, what Ian Wilmut also admitted in 2006. The cell biologist and former employees in the clone project would thus be actually called as first author and must be given the financial resources and prices for the prominent publication.

Unasked name Godmother is Dolly Parton. The scientists who had chosen for their lush bust, the country singer, so wanted to allude to the origin of the donor cells from a sheep's udder.

Strictly speaking, it is not in a correct clone Dolly, because the genes of the mitochondria ( endosymbiont theory ) were not taken with the donor animal, but from the eggs. Thus, no one hundred percent genetic match was achieved with the output of animal. During his life, Dolly the sheep got several lambs, all born naturally.


On February 14, 2003 Dolly had at the age of six years due to a serious lung disease, pulmonary adenomatosis of sheep, to be euthanized. The trigger was the Jaagsiekte sheep retrovirus. Dolly showed at this time of aging such as arthritis. Sheep have a natural life expectancy of an average of ten to twelve, a maximum of 20 years. Therefore, it is discussed whether it is consequences of cloning in the early signs of aging, because the implanted nuclei were from an adult animal and were therefore older.

The stuffed skin of the animal is on display at the Royal Museum in Edinburgh.