Remember Dolly the Sheep? Having started her life in a test tube in 1996, she was the first animal cloned by scientists using a somatic cell (as distinct, say from a germline cell, or “gamete,” like sperm and eggs). Dolly was beautiful. She was Scottish. Her mere existence was profound.
It was also unusually short, at just six years. But scientists in Japan announced yesterday they have succeeded in cloning mice using the same technique that created Dolly with more or less perfect results: The mice are healthy, they live just as long as regular mice, and they’ve been flawlessly cloned and recloned from the same source to the 25th generation.
- by Austin Considine