back to article Dolly the sheep clones have aged well, say scientists

Scientists working on a long-term study of the world’s first cloned animal, Dolly the sheep, have reported that cloned sheep age normally in a paper published today in Nature Communications. Dolly’s life started in the laboratory. Scientists replaced the nucleus of an egg cell with a nucleus taken from a somatic cell to …

  1. TRT Silver badge

    I don't care too much if they age well or not...

    How did they taste?

    1. My-Handle Silver badge

      Re: I don't care too much if they age well or not...

      baaad

      1. Graham Marsden
        Coat

        @My-Handle - Re: I don't care too much if they age well or not...

        I think this is your sheepskin coat...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Re: I don't care too much if they age well or not...

      fantastic in a Rogan Josh. Mutton is way better than lamb when slow cooked for several hours.

      Yummy

    3. Huw D

      Re: I don't care too much if they age well or not...

      <Insert obligatory Welsh joke here>

      1. asdf

        Re: I don't care too much if they age well or not...

        <Also Insert obligatory Kiwi joke here>

      2. Jedit
        Joke

        "<Insert obligatory Welsh joke here>"

        I thought cloning was reproduction without sex?

        (Hey, you asked.)

        1. Huw D

          Re: "<Insert obligatory Welsh joke here>"

          Well played, Sir. Well played.

    4. Alister Silver badge

      Re: I don't care too much if they age well or not...

      How did they taste?

      Dollyscious...

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't care too much if they age well or not...

      With their mouths of course, I wouldn't have thought cloning would change this.

  2. Howard Hanek
    Childcatcher

    I'm Curious

    Was there some other reason besides science WHY anyone decided on cloning a sheep first? In this age of gender confusion this may have been a breakthrough of another kind that the public wasn't aware of. Is there a social side to this story we haven't been told? A wealthy donor perhaps? From the Gulf States?

    1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
      WTF?

      Hi Curious...

      ...I'm Confused

    2. phuzz Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: I'm Curious

      That's actually a good question, you'd normally expect rats or mice to be the first cloned animals.

      I assume there's an agriculture angle to why a sheep was picked (some funding came from the Min. of Ag.), but I suspect it just happened that the researchers who got there first happened to be using sheep.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I'm Curious

        It was a wealthy doner shop owner.

  3. Tony Haines
    WTF?

    Gah.

    "The birth of Dolly in 1996 made headlines and captured people’s attention as it provided evidence that a living creature could be completely cloned."

    Ouch.

    Dolly was the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell. An important word in that sentence is "mammal" - people have been cloning "living creatures" (like frogs) since the late '50s. Where this assumes an intent to suggest cloning a pre-existing, multicellular organism as opposed to - for example splitting a 2-cell embryo to create identical twins.

    To preempt any other pedants, I should say that - given strict definitions of "clone" and "living creature" - a colony of bacteria on a plate which are all descended from a single cell is a clone, as is a tree grown from a cutting (and the word "completely" is superfluous in the quoted sentence).

    1. Allan George Dyer
      Headmaster

      Re: Gah.

      Unfortunately, your pre-empting gives me an additional pendant opportunity... a chimera (no, not the mythological creature, a single organism composed of cells from different zygotes) could be a partial clone, and gardeners routinely graft two plants into a single organism, so, keep the "completely".

      1. Tony Haines

        Re: Gah.

        While I take your point, to be really pedantic, a clone is a cell line or organism that is genetically identical to the cell or organism from which it was derived, so I believe that (officially at least) it's all or nothing. It's tautologous - like calling something "completely unique".

        In your examples, you could say that the chimera was composed of several different clones, or that a particular part of the plant was clonal.

        Now, I must admit that I wouldn't balk at someone talking about an organism being a partial clone of another - I'd know what they meant (assuming, at least, they knew what they were talking about). However, the point I was originally intending to make about the word 'completely' is - it's unnecessary in the sentence given. The word 'partial', if necessary, would not be superfluous - just as it's not in the phrase 'almost unique'.

        I've probably triggered a few more pedantic alarm bells in this post, and for that I apologise. Any grammatical corrections I will concede, but if you spot a biological wrinkle I've apparently neglected, please be reassured that there are several interesting cans of worms I've elected to leave unopened.

  4. NotBob
    Holmes

    So cloned animals age as well as a control group of a different breed of older sheep. Couldn't be arsed to use the same breed or the same age? Sloppy.

    Interesting about only one of the clones suffering from OA like the original. That might be an avenue for useful research if the scientists are willing to do their damn jobs instead of calling the nearest group of quadripeds a "control group."

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "So cloned animals age as well as a control group of a different breed of older sheep. Couldn't be arsed to use the same breed or the same age? Sloppy."

      I'd have thought the ideal control should be the individual that was cloned.

  5. Nolveys

    It's too bad they didn't mention the time the research team got drunk and drove around in the country, implanting random cows with clones of Jim Carrey.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Maybe they were going to, but the cows were abducted first.

  6. EvilGardenGnome
    Childcatcher

    Won't someone think of the children?

    As in, did any of the clones have any? How are they doing?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Good or bad development?

    I can understand the value from a scientific point of view but on the other end I'm also quite worried about the effects all this might have in the longer run. Like the 'harmless' genetically altered vegetables. Fully harmless scientists say, but as with all those things you won't see instant results (good or bad).

    And that's what worries me: because if it does turn out to be bad then good luck turning things around again.

    But yeah, the usual 'time will tell' all over again.

    1. Huw D
      Joke

      Re: Good or bad development?

      Nothing wrong with modifying food.

      I had a perfectly good leg of salmon for supper...

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Good or bad development?

      "Like the 'harmless' genetically altered vegetables."

      I don't know if it's still the practice but genetic engineering techniques used to include splicing antibiotic resistance genes in as markers. That was the worrying biological aspect to me. The worrying business aspect, of course, was the behaviour of Monsanto.

    3. oicur0t

      Re: Good or bad development?

      "Like the 'harmless' genetically altered vegetables. Fully harmless scientists say, but as with all those things you won't see instant results (good or bad)."

      That's why GMOs are heavily tested and, after decades of such testing, there is nothing yet to worry about. The science has been done already, and continues to be done on all new varieties. If you think otherwise then I would review your sources of information for bias.

      A GMO vegetable is chemically the same as it's non GMO counterpart unless it's developed to contain something else, like Bt, which is a naturally occurring pesticide anyway that's already part of your diet and safe for consumption.

  8. Herby

    Orphan Black

    Enough said...

  9. Camilla Smythe

    Good

    Full steam ahead on getting rid of the male of the specieses.

    1. Dr Scrum Master

      Re: Good

      But who will reach the top shelves in the cupboard?

      Or will you just get Latvians?

      1. Camilla Smythe

        Re: Good

        Top shelves will be superfluous. They are just places for Men to try and hide their wank mags under our collections of soft furnishings.

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