Cloned Sheet Dolly- RIP


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Wed April 9, 2003 05:30 AM ET
LONDON (Reuters) - She was created by biotechnicians, debated by theologians and finally put to sleep by veterinarians. Now Dolly the sheep has been stuffed by taxidermists and put on display before the public.
The stuffed remains of Dolly -- the first cloned adult mammal -- were unveiled on Wednesday at the Edinburgh International Science Festival.

"She's looking great," said a spokeswoman for Edinburgh's Royal Museum where she now stands. "She's on all fours and her head is slightly tilted to one side."

"She used to get a lot of human visitors," she added. "And that's the expression she always used to great them."

Dolly's birth in July 1996 was kept secret for months while her creators checked her lineage, but the eventual announcement, in February 1997, sent shockwaves around the world. Now cloning of farm animals has become almost routine.

Unlike her hardy mountain-dwelling cousins, Dolly -- a breed called a Finn Dorset -- was hand-fed and lived her life indoors until she was put down in February, aged six, after a severe chest infection.

The full result of her autopsy is expected later this week.

Dolly was made from a frozen cell taken from the mammary gland of her mother/twin who died several years before her birth. Creator Ian Wilmut said he named her after Dolly Parton, the American singer famous for her own mammaries.

While Dolly is best known for being an almost precise copy, she was in one way unique: she was the sole success of an experiment that tried to clone 276 sheep embryos.

The festival, which celebrates the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA, will be fully opened to the public from Friday.