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Doctors Ron James (left) and Keith Cambell (centre) of PPL Therapeutics pose with Dr Ian Wilmut of the Roslin Institute - and the first ever cloned sheep Dolly and Polly

This WebQuest is focusing on a topic that isn’t only a major achievement in science, but in history. Throughout this WebQuest, we will be learning and discussing about the first cloning of a mammal.

In 1996, Dolly the sheep (5 July, 1996 - 14 February, 2003) became the first mammal cloned from a single adult somatic cell using the process of nuclear transfer. She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland, and lived there until her death when she was six years old. The two scientists that are known for accomplishing this monumental achievement is Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell.

In this landmark experiment, Wilmut and Campbell created a lamb by transferring the nucleus from an adult sheep's udder cell into an enucleated egg. Never before had a mammal been cloned from an adult somatic cell. After 277 attempts, only one produced an embryo that was carried to term in a surrogate mother. After all these attempts, Campbell and Wilmut finally reached the goal that they had been working towards. This famous lamb, named Dolly, brought cloning into the limelight. The arrival of Dolly started conversations about the implications of cloning, bringing controversies over human cloning and stem cell research into the public eye.

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