Diagram of the nuclear transfer procedure that produced the first cloned mammals


­In 1996, cloning was revolutionized when Ian Wilmut and his colleagues at the Roslin­ Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, successfully cloned a sheep named Dolly. Dolly was the first cloned mammal.

Wilmut and his colleagues transplanted a nucleus from a mammary gland cell of a Finn Dorsett sheep into the enucleated egg of a Scottish blackface ewe. The nucleus-egg combination was stimulated with electricity to fuse the two and to stimulate cell division. The new cell divided and was placed in the uterus of a blackface ewe to develop. Dolly was born months later.

Dolly was shown to be genetically identical to the Finn Dorsett mammary cells and not to the blackface ewe, which clearly demonstrated that she was a successful clone (it took 276 attempts before the experiment was successful). Dolly has since grown and reproduced several offspring of her own through normal sexual means. Therefore, Dolly is a viable, healthy clone.

Since Dolly, several university laboratories and companies have used various modifications of the nuclear transfer technique to produce cloned mammals, including cows, pigs, monkeys, mice and Noah.