Dolly stars in genetics exhibition

Published: 29 July 2015

The world’s most famous sheep will be on display alongside rare books, archive documents, pictures, sound and film clips from the University of Edinburgh’s Special Collections.

Also on show will be a microscope from the University of Edinburgh's Roslin Institute that was used to create the cloned embryo that led to Dolly’s birth.

The ‘Towards Dolly’ exhibition celebrates Edinburgh’s contributions to the field of genetic science, from animal breeding research in the early 1900s, to the cutting-edge stem cell techniques employed today. It includes photographs of early breeding studies involving zebras and horses.

These helped scientists to understand how physical characteristics - such as coat markings and colour - could be passed from one generation to the next.

Dolly is the most famous chapter in Edinburgh’s long genetics history. This exhibition tells the wider story of the many pioneering discoveries which have taken place here, taking our visitors ‘towards Dolly’ and beyond.
Clare Button, Exhibition Curator and Project Archivist

Items from the archives of Professor Charlotte Auerbach - who pioneered research into genetic mutations - will also be on display. Her research, carried out at Edinburgh’s Institute of Animal Genetics from the 1930s onwards, paved the way for using mutations to study how genes work.

Dolly the sheep appears in the exhibition on exclusive loan from National Museums Scotland. As the first animal to be cloned from an adult cell, her birth proved that it is possible to take cells from anywhere in the body and make them behave like a newly fertilised egg. The discovery paved the way for the field of regenerative medicine and the use of stem cells to investigate fundamental human and animal biology.

Exhibition information:

Towards Dolly: A Century of Animal Genetics in Edinburgh

Date: 31 July - 31 October 2015
Venue: Exhibition Gallery, Main University Library, 30 George Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9LJ
Opening times: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm
Admission: Free

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