It was 25 years ago that fiction became reality with the birth of Dolly, the most famous sheep in the world, cloned from an adult cell, creating expectations for a brave, or frightening, new world.
The world only knew her later in February 1997, but it was 25 years ago, on July 5, 1996, that she was born Dolly, a sheep apparently equal to all other sheep.
The sheep, who turned out to be a celebrity, was not the first cloned animal, nor the first mammal, as before Dolly, another sheep had been cloned from an embryonic cell in 1984.
However, Dolly went down in history as the first cloned mammal to be born through nuclear transfer from a cell (mammary) adult (from a six year old sheep), thus opening the door to a series of potentialities in biology and medicine, some of which are frightening for many.
The process that gave rise to this sheep, whose name came from a joke by a technician who referred to the singer Dolly Parton and it sounded better than the experimental name “lamb no. 6LL3”, it had never been successful: the donor's adult cell was introduced into another one without a nucleus, resulting in an embryo that was later implanted in a “rental sheep”.
Then, Dolly was born, the result of the work of the Instituto Roslin, on Scotland. Science fiction ceased to be so and the debate around what this feat represented heated up, since, like man, Dolly was a mammal and scientists had just proved that mammals could be cloned with adult cells and not just embryos.
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