The World’s First

Celebrity Sheep

‘I first met Dolly in March 1997…She was a sweet creature, much cosseted since birth and extraordinarily tame. She danced round her pen at Roslin Institute as eagerly and vociferously as a spaniel, leaping into her feed trough for a better view, sociable even by the standards of sheep….Many dire predictions followed Dolly’s birth. Some were obvious fantasy – or at least, we may hope the fantasy was obvious – as in one American newspaper which announced that she was a carnivore and ate her flock-mates. Others were more serious.’ Colin Tudge, The Second Creation, 2001

‘Dolly’s impact was extraordinary…nothing could have prepared us for the (literally) thousands of telephone calls, the scores of interviews, the offers of tours and contracts, and in some cases the opprobrium – though much less of that than we might have feared. Everyone, worldwide, knew that Dolly was important. Even if they did not grasp her full significance (and the full significance… is not obvious and is far more profound than is generally appreciated), people the world over felt that life would never be quite the same again. And in this they are quite right.’ Ian Wilmut, The Importance of Being Dolly, The Second Creation: The Age of Biological Control by the scientists who cloned Dolly, Headline, 2001

The concept of a celebrity sheep called Dolly

The concept of a celebrity sheep is so absurd -

downright funny, that many of her critics have

surely been disarmed - unable to see past the joke;

seeing her in a pen at a hoaching press conference

going ‘Baa’, munching grass - smiling sheepishly -

it’s hard to ask difficult questions, hold her creation

against her. If she were a wolf, cloned lion, rhino -

how much more afraid would we be, even unhinged;

but who could fear a sheep, a smiling sheep at that,

with a sweet nature and crown of soft white curls -

and if she were not called ‘Dolly’, but ‘Nemesis’ ‘Freak-

Sheep’ - ‘XVOPE11’, ‘Frankensheep’, ‘Shadowmancer’,

‘Dementor’, how much more threatening would she seem -

but who could possibly be afraid of a creature called ‘Dolly’?

No matter how she came about, demonstrating new power,

divine dabbling - fundamental alteration of the sacred code;

what could be milder, less harmful than a sheep,

more disarming than this tickling little word -

name; five letters that can, with such charming subterfuge,

change the course of history, science, medicine, humanity. 

Roll up, roll up, see the freakish sheep

Roll up, roll up, see the freakish sheep here.

She’s young, she’s old, she eats, she sleeps -

she chews grass; she, um, goes ‘Baaaa’ a lot.

Roll up, roll up, she’s the same as her mum,

or should that be she’s the mum of herself -

I dunno, just roll up, roll up, take her picture…

Oi, no flash please, she’s a dumb animal -

but she ain’t no cannibal as you’ve heard

tell - vegetarian, clean-living, wants to be

a mum herself one day - doesn’t do drugs,

though she will help develop technology

to create some. C’mon - roll up, roll up -

Ms Dolly will see you now; a minute

each - all she’s said today, so far, is

Maaaa, Baaaa’ - which ain’t much,

but they’ll read anything you print from her lips.

No autographs, absolutely, she’s only got a hoof,

you’re gonna embarrass her now. What’s that sir?

How much for a strand of her wool? - Just one curl?

I dunno, let me get back to you... What, what’s that?

You want to stuff Dolly, hey, she’s a star, get stuffed!

‘Little Lamb, who made thee? Dost thou know who made thee?...Little Lamb I’ll tell thee!/ He is called by thy name,/ For he calls himself a Lamb:/ He is meek & he is mild,/ He became a little child:/ I a child and thou a lamb,/ We are called by his name./ Little Lamb God bless thee. / Little Lamb God bless thee.’ William Blake, 1757-1827, The Lamb,

Is Dolly still the lamb of God?

Is Dolly still the lamb of God,

as all other little lambs born -

or abomination, unnatural

creature, living perversion;

dark emanation from tinkering of man

with mechanisms hidden for a reason -

(like engine under bonnet, plastic-covered

eye; closed electrical, computer intestines).

But who could look into her sheepish eye,

fail to see that sharing of God’s principle

of life - and where life is, there too, is love;

how ironic such moral dilemmas, struggles,

should surround an animal already a metaphor,

washing the sins of the world with white wool.

How much symbolism can one species take? -

And who would have taken odds on the sheep.

‘Miss Dolly, could I ask you how it feels?’

“Miss Dolly, Miss Dolly! Could I ask you how it feels

to be the most miraculous creature that has ever lived?”


“Dolly, Miss Dolly; is it true that you will change the face

of human history? - That you will lead to human cloning?”


“That your technology will be used to re-create dinosaurs,

tigers, mammoths, Ghandi, Elvis, Hitler - what if Jesus’s

DNA could be found on one of those spears - crowns of thorns;

Divine DNA, could that, should it be seeded through humanity?”


“O Sheepy One – have you seen the mind of God -

have your cloven hooves walked on Elysian fields?”


“Miss Dolly, Miss Dolly, do you claim to be in contact

with your dead mother - now that you actually are her…

sort of? How does it feel to know you are the same as

another sheep, not unique - has it been a terrible blow

to your ego? Does your wool have healing properties?

Is it true that it can help infertile couples if they wear

a jumper made from you? Do you deny that Ian Wilmut -

your creator, is planning a Christmas jumper made of you?”


“Dolly, Dolly, this way – do you hate people treating you

differently – what are your hobbies? Who does your hair,

your wool I mean? Do you have an entourage? – And who does

your hooves? Is is true you’ll only eat grass of a certain length?

“Do you want children, or will you just clone yourself? -

Do you consider yourself an abomination or just a regular

kind of sheep? Do you mother’s relatives count as yours?

What are your true feelings towards your mother’s father?”

“Dolly, Dolly, just one very last question, if you were cloned

and cloned, would there be confused sheep dogs-everywhere?”


Let’s freeze all bores’ semen

The PhD of Ian Wilmut, the creator of Dolly the cloned sheep, is on the freezing of boar semen.

Let’s freeze all bores’ semen, throughout the world;

never another interminable conversation about cars -

prams, holidays, ailments, house prices, dull children;

family trees, revelatory of being shoemakers in Hull -

only 500 times removed from the non-Jacobite throne.

Let’s dig up a bit of Oscar Wilde and grow him in a dish;

scatter his genes about a bit - germline therapy, splicing -

there’s not enough wit to pepper the world, dinner parties,

work - a treatment that could be enforced for politicians -

teachers, committee chairmen, taxi drivers, sitcom writers.

How delighted might he be to crack jokes in broken time;

about being here – somehow - back - where we are all still

in the gutter, some looking at the stars; life’s Dorian Greys,

the Genome’s freshly painted portraits - but with society’s

genome improved, he could now enjoy freedom, wit - life.

The Age of Dolly

This is the age of Dolly;

she is a strange herald -

but what poetry can proclaim her nature

adequately as this ‘Sheep among Sheep’.

See what I mean – let’s try that again:

‘O, Sheep of Sheep, O Woolly One…’

it’s difficult to eulogise a sheep,

especially one called ‘Dolly’ -

not quite Hercules, Agamemnon, Adonois,

or anything - whoever heard of the Heroic

Sheep - the Noble Sheep - Sublime Sheep -

so maybe she’ll be the first scientific miracle

versified with a laugh; with a sense of humour

as some say God must have, as God must need,

now in the time of wounded Creation.

Let us crown her with fitting laurels -

make golden her pen with fresh straw.

Let us paint her in windows - explain

her in texts. Let us comb out her wool

until dazzling white; yes, let us pet her,

tenderly remember to her,

Dolly - she’s just a sheep.

‘To make Megan and Morag, and then Dolly, we developed a technique to reprogramme cells that were already differentiated – to re-establish totipotency. We have the technique… we have some idea how and why the technique works. But we do not understand the details. We would dearly like to.’ Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell, The Second Creation: The Age of Biological Control, by the scientists who cloned Dolly, Headline, 2001

Sheepy Freaks

Meet the gang of sheepy freaks –

Megan, Morag, Dolly and Polly;

Bonnie, Taffy, Tweed and Cedric,

Cyril, Cecil, Tuppence - the jolly

Roslin flock of woolly clones -

who sound as if they star in fairy

stories, and maybe will in fables,

myths, legends, nursery rhymes;

morality tales of future centuries -

like Snow White, Rumpelstiltskin.

‘Dolly had been cloned from a cell from a six-year-old ewe – so were here own cells merely as old as she was, or should we add six years to their biological age? Six years is a lot, in the life of a sheep.’ Colin Tudge, The Second Creation, Headline, 2001

The Sheep of Ages

In my cells are the sheep of ages...

It’s no good, said the poet - I just can’t write about Dolly

without it sounding funny; it’s like trying to write a poem

about a Dodo, Dung Beetle; or the planet Uranus.

Are there some things then that cannot be written,

like the language of stars flashed across space -

green tree tongues in seasonal wind; eerie sound

of leaky harvest moons, bloated with a whole summer -

creaking, puffing heavily through red clouds, streaking.

But what of responsibility, making vivid

important things? So I must begin again -

‘O Dolly, what mysteries beneath thy wool…’

No - it’s just no good - there was this sheep,

right, and it was a copy of another sheep -


‘But Dolly seems to have defied the Jeremiahs – at least in ways that seem to matter. True, in the summer of 1999 structures at the end of her chromosomes known as telomeres, which become shorter with age, were more typical of a much older animal, but she herself shows no sign of premature ageing.’ Colin Tudge, The Second Creation, Headline, 2001

Not her animal spirit, but chemical mechanisms

seemingly affected; having knowledge of origin,

difference, churning cells to the given recipe,

oblivious to the hand - motive - implications.

‘[Dolly] is certainly not sterile. When I last went to see her, in the autumn of 1998, she had her daughter at heel – named ‘Bonnie’ because, as the vet Tim King commented, ‘She is a bonnie wee lamb’. “Reporters ask us what the sheep are called,” says Tim King, “so we just have to make something up. David is a Welsh Mountain ram, so it seemed appropriate.” Colin Tudge, The Second Creation, Headline, 2001

What a bonnie wee lamb

What a bonnie wee lamb, tottie wee thing;

staggerin aboot - wrigglin its wee bit tail -

suckin an suckin; aye, there’s hardly ony o

Goad’s creatures mair pretty than a lamb -

that mair expresses that bright breath o spring

as it comes shinin’ o’er thon cruel black glen.

Aye, look, she’s nae idea, bonnie wee thing,

she’s different to ony other lamb or sheep -

she disnae ken her mither’s famous, fearded

ove - reviled an celebrated in equal measure.

See hoo her catkin tail is jigglin’ merry - ad

tak her right hame wi me, innocen’ creature.

‘…Dolly remained in her shed, which by that time she shared with the entire flock of Roslin clones: Megan and Morag (Megan also with a daughter); Taffy and Tweed – males cloned from Welsh Black fetal cells, and very black indeed; a cloned quartet of young rams – Cedric, Cyril, Cecil and Tuppence; and the ewe that should perhaps be the most famous of all – Polly. Polly, born a year after Dolly in 1997, is not only fully cloned, she is also genetically transformed. She has been fitted with a human gene that codes the protein Factor 1X, which she secretes in her milk.’ Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell, Colin Tudge, The Second Creation, Headline, 2001

‘Dolly the sheep made scientific history when she was created from the cells from other sheep in a Scottish lab in 1997. But it was her successor Polly who ushered in a whole new phase in genetic engineering. Polly, too, was a clone, created from Dolly's cells. But in making Polly, scientists injected a new gene into her DNA to enhance milk production. Crucially, Polly will be able to pass the gene on to all her offspring, and they to theirs. ‘ BBC Science online

‘We should not get too carried away by this. The ewe that supplied the orignal nucleus for Dolly was a Finn-Dorset, and the ewe who supplied the cytoplasm was a Scottish Blackface – a very different breed. But Dolly herself is very clearly a Finn-Dorset. No show judge would ever suggest any different. The nuclear DNA undoubtedly prevails. On the other hand, DNA does not operate in isolation. It is in constant dialogue with its cytoplasmic environment; the cytoplasm makes a difference.’  Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell, The Second Creation: The Age of Biological Control, by the scientists who cloned Dolly, Headline, 2001

Ma mammy wiz a Finn-Dorset

Ma mammy wiz a Finn-Dorset, but av no git that accent -

nae surprisin when ye consider she wiz naught but a cell,

and now ye mention it - deed, tae. Aye, nae even a wee strand

o’ hur wool, nivir mind a jumper o anythin fir a wee souvenir,

like - am very definitely fae the Boarders, where ma second mammy,

ma ‘Cytoplasmic Mammy’ as a call her - maks her soond dead glam,

like an action hero or summat - cam frae; a real Scottish Blackface,

through and through - but ma face is white as snaw - nae a smirch -

so am mair ma English mammy’s girl tae look at, like. Aye,

they must hae been stoaters, baith o them, tae hae been kept

like that, even when they wir deed! Goan tae that great green

field in the sky where the neeps are ae sweet - and a suppose

one day I’ll go tae, ma bairns an me, an I’ll be happy enough;

av hid quite a life - fir a sheep - mair like a Hoallywood star -

apart fae the wool, like - well, species really. Nae bad, ken,

nae bad at a, an ma bairns - they said ad never hae children,

but a did, though ma knees is sair - weird, am no that auld.

A dinnae understaun a they sae aboot me - just find masel

worryin a the sheep up there, they’re gonnae look somethin’

like me - an I’ll go oan feelin whit they’re feeling - no just

deed, but them sheep doon here; or maybe that’s just gonnae

be Poally’s kin, ye cin tell thame fae a the white milk gushin’.

“It would be good to claim that I foresaw from the beginning the conceptual path that was to lead through Megan and Morag to Dolly and then to Polly – but that would be a complete fantasy.” Ian Wilmut, Scientist


‘Taffy and Tweed, two Welsh Black rams, were cloned from cultured fetal cells at the same time as Dolly – and are at least as important as she is, since fetal cells may well be the best kind to work with. Were it not for Dolly, Taffy and Tweed would now be the most famous sheep in the world.’ Ian Wilmut, The Importance of Being Dolly, The Second Creation: The Age of Biological Control by the scientists who cloned Dolly, Headline, 2001

Taffy’s Monologue

“Darling, it should have been me - all right -

all right, Tweedy, us; it should have been us.

We were there, you know - just as amazing -

just as miraculous, but that… bitch Dolly -

stole the show - oh, yes, and didn’t she just.

Did we get a single line of copy - a mention?

Not even in the tabloids, darling, never mind

our own whole page in the Observer magazine,

full page photo in a special Guardian supplement.

What’s that Tweedy? Oh, yes, even being visited

by royalty, no less… Of course, she’s totally changed -

Dolly, not the same sheep at all; went right to her head,

baaa-ing for this, baaa-ing for that, the finest gold straw,

wool stylists flown in from New Zealand - First Class! -

only drinks mineral water now you know, and her turnips

have to be cut into star shapes – yes - absolutely true…

Bitter! Of course I’m not bitter, bad for you, gives you

frown lines, flattens your wool – but you would think,

wouldn’t you, that a sheep – all right Tweedy, sheeps,

I mean sheep cloned from foetal cells might be thought

quite exciting, non? Certainly lots of publicity when

it comes to their foetal cells, anyway - oh, yes, that’s

totally different - media circus. Personally, I think it’s

because we’re Welsh. Anyway, what’s the point really,

in complaining; those who know know - it should have

been us; and as for the great Miss Dolly - ‘Most Famous

Sheep That Ever Lived’ - well, let’s just say motherhood

has done nothing for her figure; enough for three jumpers

I’d say, whereas Tweedy and me stick to the Catkins Diet -

every spring, keeps us trim, because naturally we do worry

about cell-ulite - and just in case the media realises at last

how important we are, just like Dolly - doesn’t even know

her best side you know, no idea...And let’s face it, Tweedy,

we’ll probably be around a long time after Miss Dolly - as

we’re created from foetal - and Dolly from smelly old six-

year-old cells; she’ll probably get ewe-monia, but even then,

when she’s gone to the Big Field - it’ll be all ewe-logies and

obitchuaries, about how ewe-nique she was - ewe-surping all

other experimental animals in ewe-genics, ramming the point

home, blah, blah - and still not a word about me… er us. But

what is fame? A kind of eternal ewe-th - though not in her case

of course - we hear she’ll get stuffed, and none too soon, if you

know what I mean. But fickle - first cloned human being - she’ll

be no-one, won’t be able to sell herself for chops! Well maybe -

what a tragedy, darling, if Dolly ended up eaten for someone’s tea.

‘Dolly became an animal superstar after her existence was revealed by The Observer in February 1997. She adored human attention, and became heavily overweight at one point. Later she developed arthritis, an unusual condition for an animal of her age. Then, on Friday, it was revealed she had developed progressive lung disease and that it had been left to her creator, Prof Ian Wilmut, to make the final decision to put an end to her life. A post-mortem is to be carried out before her body is stuffed and mounted in the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh. 'It now seems inevitable that human clones will be born somewhere in the world,' said cloning expert Dr Patrick Dixon. 'The greatest worry that many scientists have is that human clones will need hip replacements in their teenage years and perhaps develop senile dementia by their twentieth birthday. This is why the post-mortem on Dolly is so crucial.' The Observer, UK, 2003

‘Dolly was put down by veterinarians in February 2003 at the age of six after she developed premature progressive lung disease.’ Guardian, UK, 2006

FAMOUS SHEEP – Dolly, Sean the Sheep, Little Bo Peep’s sheep, Mary’s little lamb, Larry the Lamb, Lamb Chop, the lost sheep, the black sheep of the family, sheep for which Highlanders were turned off their land during the Highland Clearances, sheep you count to go to sleep, ‘Ma’ in Babe.

FAMOUS DOLLIES – Dolly the sheep, Dolly Parton, Dad Army’s Mr Godfrey’s sister Dolly; Dolly Mixtures; ‘The ‘Well, hello Dolly’ song Dolly.

‘It’s [Roslin] a brisk, no-nonsense, working landscape…This kind of country gave rise to the Scottish Enlightenment and Romanticism. David Hume, Adam Smith, and Walter Scott wandered and contemplated in these hills. Thomas Carlyle was born just down the road in the village of Ecclefechan…All in all it is a place where people have very grand ideas of a very practical nature that change the course of human history. It is absolutely appropriate as the birthplace of mammalian cloning.’ Colin Tudge, Science Writer

In this small country

In this small country, rough as emery

against grinding, grey sea - the poet

is hero; heroic landscape poetry.

History is romance and tragedy -

romance is history; dark glens

tragedy worked in brutal rock,

laments written in crying scree;

bleak wind - perpetual pibroch.

In our eyes, that grey sea, blue loch;

we are made from this landscape –

snow-skin, whin-pale and russet fern-hair;

among God and land spirits - water souls,

earth creatures; thistles and emblematic

proud animals - our stag and our eagle -

all surviving here - in this tough country,

with the delicate heart of a flower - light

blood that will not die in summer, all night.

Stone, earth, sea, unlimited sky, are stories

at the core of nationhood; glowering mountains

grumble at each other - too miserable all winter

to take the flowered garments of spring -

shed the snow-shawl draping grey bones,

exposed skull; always they are lamenting

for our history - in permanent peat burns.   

Symbols of lion rampant and unicorn,

white cross forming on the bluest day,

are romantic and historic; heraldic,

magical, inspiring and ferocious –

as the grey sky metamorphoses into the bluest

blue a sky can be - the dourest people become

the wildest, most convivial;

merriest dancers ever born.

We are myth and legend, wild dream -

but truth, fact; real to the very rugged

heart and natural imagination,

addiction to the spirit of land,

our geography - our home lived

by the bone, amid sparkling air;

this particular, dancing, bright air,

powerful oxygen, perpetual wind -

breathing science, engineering, medicine -

education, invention, and internationalism;

responsibility, equality, nobility - social care -

compassion, justice, wildness, music, manners.

So many shining things, such variation

in our small, heartbreaking cauldron -

but even such as these - TV, telephone,

penicillin - philosophers, poets, artists,

blooming from so small, unlikely a place,

against statistics - any laws of probability,

brings a natural self-effacing modesty;

which once was charming – but now -

unaccountably, mutated into damaging

lack of confidence, catastrophic loss of

self esteem; blushing, standing back

with only secret Presbyterian pride –

just to be savoured quite alone - dressed

all in black in a dark room, with a week-

old oatcake, malt whisky and cold spring water.

We here are a demoralised people - not ruined -

but crushed under grueling pages of iron history,

not even taught in our own schools; left ignorant

but for the archives of the heart – race memory

of injustice; terrible, sad, unlucky, unfair - such

demoralising history that casts a pall over

even our most dazzling of achievements –

we are gutted, disappointed, divided;

cowed, angry, disempowered, bitter -

but must remember, celebrate, learn –

unfold these soaring God-given wings,

just like our eagle; our genetic disposition

towards curiosity, originality, innovation -

unlikely as a Bird of Paradise alighting

in black Glencoe with the sun shining -

such strange wings; genetic freaks we are,

nothing accounting for such sparky genes -

uniquely equipped to make new connections;

curious, bursting somehow with novel ideas -

yet will believe that black oil discovered

but a stone’s throw from our own shores

is not the oil of Scotland; will swallow

that slovenly, blood-boiling argument

that we are a nation of tartan scroungers,

scavengers on the poor English taxpayer;

when we could live like the kings we had -

rich as Sweden and as socially enlightened;

when we did not vote in the elections of history

to give up our democratic rights, to be so joined;

when we were but sold into England -

not voted there by the Scottish people,

but will let ourselves be treated as inferior;

jocks, oiks, teuchters, with hardly a bleat -

seeking external validation of success -

beyond our shores; looking to England,

to ridiculous oppressors, casually racist critics

with no grasp of history, or wish for the facts - 

who will dismiss the Enlightenment

on account of a deep fried Mars Bar;

ignoramuses thinking Edinburgh is a village

about shortbread tins, and Highland flings -

not philosophers and kings - architecture

and medicine; literature, civilization, art -

allowing our story to slump into Disney mentality;

when but for treachery, injustice, we would shine -

as bright creative source of so many of the world’s

most dazzling inventions – imagine, the telephone,

television, just for starters, were dreamed of here -

we warmly cultured learning, some of humanity’s

finest points; elevating education, equality, social

welfare, justice, culture, arts, to driving principles,

loyal even now - still quietly paying service

to these living lights that illuminate society;

are the symbolic and active genes

of any country, nation, or culture -

which drag civilisation forward in the right direction.

You could count on but few hands, Scots who voted

for the Thatcher government - because even those

with money do not believe that starving the people

of medicine, education, is the way to better a nation;

society, country, world - is advancement or progress.

And now, how extraordinary; a sheep! Astoundingly

symbolic - what better country - better animal - here,

for rehabilitation, than the sheep, as stealer of the people’s

land - families thrown from the mother earth, genetic host,

for sheep; now this inoffensive mammal can be remade,

rehabilitated - changed in Scottish minds - the lion will

lie down with the lamb, (or the sheep anyway),

for it’s not quite clear if Dolly was ever a lamb

in the true sense of the word; but in the woolly,

baa-ing, everyday sense, as cute as any other -

wearing her symbolism so lightly - her freak occurrence

in the world. But even here, the home of much invention,

her strange novelty affects the air - innocent creature,

yet she has a humming halo attendant at her presence,

though she does not feel herself, it’s clear, as different

to another sheep - maybe, being born here, has picked

up the damaging, irritating, wonderful self-effacing nature:

‘Who me, just a little sheep, humble wee woolly creature -

how can I be of any real importance in the bigger world?’

Here she is - woolly bomb, explosive beast, conundrum;

for what Dolly has put in chain no man may put asunder -

she can never be unmade, no more than the atom become

whole again – she is here for good or evil - and what better

place to keep her soul for good, her cells and tissues, genes;

for healing of the sick, keeping her the lamb of God,

taking away sickness - this mild, munching creature

who has nothing in her eyes but simple sheepness,

her advocate’s wig spun neat, white as any other -

she gambolled as a lamb, heard spring. How fitting

she should happen here - in this land of the strange

anomaly; that even after we were bowed, squashed,

we could not stop thinking grand ideas, inventions -

schemes and dazzling sciences. In this animal’s genes

is real power; all that we are must rise above our own

pathetic lack of confidence - recovering our genetic gifts,

rich inheritence of which we can be proud; the relatively

modern mutations evolved from relatively modern

history - in the time of the Genome, this Evolution,

cast off; and us re-cultured, re-energised, Genome

shone and sparkled up like some dusty chandelier - 

to deal properly with her, Dolly; confidently

for the public good - for to this public good

we remain devoted, still loyal; though scraping

our principles from our gnawed, exposed bone.

What better place than this then, to remind us

it is our duty to think better of ourselves - act;

make sure her sheepish genius is harnessed

for the greatest good, never sold - exploited.

‘Cloning qua cloning is almost incidental for us, too. For us, as with most of our predecessors, cloning has been a route to greater ends…But our broader and longer-term ambitions at Roslin…lies in genetic engineering: the genetic ‘transformation’ of animals and of isolated animal and human tissues and cells, for a myriad of purposes in medicine, agriculture, conservation and pure science. Future possibilities will in principle be limited only by human imagination.’ Ian Wilmut, The Importance of Being Dolly, The Second Creation: The Age of Biological Control by the scientists who cloned Dolly’, Headline, 2001

‘Scientists dispute credit for Dolly - The scientists who produced Dolly, the world's first cloned sheep, are at loggerheads over who deserves credit for the breakthrough. The debate was ignited by an admission this week from Professor Ian Wilmut - the scientist widely credited for the research - that he did not create the animal after all. Speaking at an employment tribunal in Edinburgh, Prof Wilmut said he did not develop the technology or conduct the experiments, and played only a supervisory role. The scientist said he did not play a trivial role in the project to clone Dolly and coordinated the work, but added that 66% of the credit should go to Professor Keith Campbell, a co-author on the 1997 paper. But researchers close to the project told the Guardian that the scientists involved still have major disagreements over who deserves credit for cloning Dolly. According to one source, all the credit for the breakthrough should go to Prof Campbell, who left the Roslin Institute shortly after the paper was published. Bill Ritchie, a lab technician, who still works at Roslin, said all the cloning lab work that led to Dolly was performed by him and another technician, Karen Mycock, so the credit should be theirs. "It's been an ongoing argument since it happened. Everyone has their own different set of facts," said one scientist.’ The Guardian, UK, 2006


‘Copycat – Scientists have already cloned sheep, mice, cattle, goats and pigs. But the world's first cloned cat, announced in the online edition of the journal Nature yesterday, is the first time one of the two great traditional pets, a part of millions of households around the world, has been copied. The cloned kitten, christened cc, heralds the possible beginning of a lucrative industry to bring beloved family pets back from beyond… Ironically, she is not an exact copy of her mother, Rainbow. Her coat is different, because the pattern of colours on multicoloured animals is determined by events in the womb rather than by genes - a reminder that clones may be genetic copies of their parent but are never quite identical. But the non-scientific appeal of cat cloning is the notion that lost or killed pets could be restored, with at least some of the character and much of the appearance of their predecessors. Researchers at Texas A&M have long attempted to clone dogs, so far without success.’ The Guardian newspaper, UK, 2006


Here Kitty, Kitty - come back from death.

I call you. re-born with this genomic grid.

Here puss-puss, from the place beyond stars;

come purr again upon my knee - rub soft fur

upon my cheek, wafting fish. We are re-united.

Do you still love Squeaky Mouse - on a string?

I have kept it for you, here with your blanket,

your red collar and bell. But you don’t seem

to know me…Tinkerbell, you always slept

here at my feet by the fire - I talked to you

and you listened. It was special, what we had -

now you just stare, seeming bored by my woes.

You’re not half the cat she was - you’re not her -

something is missing; the presence of Tinkerbell.

How dare you come back here in her skin, eyes,

using her recipe of genes – get thee to a cattery.

‘GeneWatch UK welcomed the Royal Society’s call for all the facts about GM and cloned animals to be made available to the public. Secrecy surrounds the licensing process for experiments with GM and cloned animals in the UK – there is no public information on who is allowed to do what and why.’ Genewatch, 2002

‘“This study does not address the big issue, which is: ‘Is this what we want to do as a society? What do we think about having a clone burger?' We still need to have a national conversation about that”.’ Carol Tucker Foreman, Director, Food Policy Institute, Consumer Federation of America, 2005

Note from the author
exploring the project

    Gene Story
    Romantic Science
    Some Special Genes
        The Art of Cloning
        Hello Dolly
        The World’s First
        Celebrity Sheep
        Human Cloning
        Nature & Nurture
    X & Y

Leave a comment
About the author
Make a contribution
Legal note on copyrightHome.htmlNote_from_the_author.htmlExploring_the_project.htmlQuotes.htmlIntroduction.htmlContents.htmlSEQUENCE_ONE.htmlSEQUENCE_TWO.htmlSEQUENCE_THREE.htmlGene_story.htmlMaps.htmlSequence_3_Sequencing.htmlRomantic_science.htmlMedicine.htmlSome_special_genes.htmlCloning.htmlThe_art_of_cloning.htmlHello_Dolly.htmlHuman_Cloning.htmlNature_%26_Nurture.htmlX_%26_Y.htmlSEQUENCE_FOUR.htmlComment.htmlAbout.htmlContribute.htmlCopyright.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0shapeimage_5_link_1shapeimage_5_link_2shapeimage_5_link_3shapeimage_5_link_4shapeimage_5_link_5shapeimage_5_link_6shapeimage_5_link_7shapeimage_5_link_8shapeimage_5_link_9shapeimage_5_link_10shapeimage_5_link_11shapeimage_5_link_12shapeimage_5_link_13shapeimage_5_link_14shapeimage_5_link_15shapeimage_5_link_16shapeimage_5_link_17shapeimage_5_link_18shapeimage_5_link_19shapeimage_5_link_20shapeimage_5_link_21shapeimage_5_link_22shapeimage_5_link_23shapeimage_5_link_24shapeimage_5_link_25shapeimage_5_link_26shapeimage_5_link_27