Happy Birthday Dolly!

Published: 5 July 2016

Roslin is an internationally known name in the field of life sciences and benefits from global recognition as the birthplace of Dolly the Sheep, the first animal to be cloned from an adult cell.

Her birth, on 5th July 1996, proved that specialised cells could be used to create an exact copy of the animal they came from. This knowledge changed what scientists thought was possible and opened up a lot of possibilities in biology and medicine, including the development of personalised stem cells known as iPS cells.

Dolly was part of a series of experiments that were trying to develop a better method for producing genetically modified livestock.

These experiments were carried out at The Roslin Institute by a team led by Professor Sir Ian Wilmut and because of the nature of the research, the team was made up of many different people, including scientists, embryologists, surgeons, vets and farm staff.

Dolly was cloned from a cell taken from the mammary gland of a six-year-old Finn Dorset sheep and an egg cell taken from a Scottish Blackface sheep. Dolly’s white face was one of the first signs that she was a clone because if she was genetically related to her Blackface surrogate mother, she would have had a black face.

As Dolly's DNA came from a mammary gland cell, she was aptly named after the country singer Dolly Parton.

Find out more about Dolly the Sheep @ 20 


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  • Easter Bush
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