Study says clones of Dolly the Sheep grow old like any other sheep

  • The four identical sisters of Dolly named Debbie, Denise, Dianna and Daisy, are all “in pretty good health”
  • Dolly, who was born on July 5, 1996, developed crippling knee arthritis at age five and died of lung disease at the age of six
  • To assess the animals, experts measured the sheep’s “glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and muscle and bone strength”

NOTTINGHAM, England – A new study conducted in England said that the four genetically identical copies of Dolly, the world famous cloned sheep who died prematurely in 2003, are growing old and strong like any other sheep.

The Times of India mentioned that the four identical sisters of Dolly, named Debbie, Denise, Dianna and Daisy, are all “in pretty good health”; proving wrong the common belief that clone animals don’t live long.

The four sheep were born 11 years later and were made from the same mammary gland cell line that yielded Dolly; the first mammal cloned using a technique called somatic-cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).

Dolly, who was born on July 5, 1996, developed crippling knee arthritis at age five and died of lung disease at the age of six, which is about the half of the life expectancy of her breed of Finn-Dorset sheep.

Because of the events that happened to Dolly, red flags were raised that clones may be sickly and age prematurely compared to naturally conceived peers. On earlier studies, scientist found out that cloned lab mice have shown also a propensity for obesity, diabetes, and dying young.

An article by Joanna Klein for The New York Times said that Kevin Sinclair of the University of Nottingham together with a team conducted thorough medical exams on the four “Dollies” which were born in July 2007, as well as nine other sheep clones from different cell cultures.

All of the 13 animals, age seven to nine, were the products of lab studies seeking to improve the efficiency of SCNT.

To assess the animals, experts measured the sheep’s “glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity, blood pressure and muscle and bone strength.”

Results of the assessment said that few of the sheep had mild osteoarthritis, the team found, and one a “moderate” form of the ailment, nut nothings serious as Dolly was before.

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