My mother, the clone?Children of celebrities often face a rough time growing up. Does the same hold true for the offspring of celebrated barnyard animals?
The answer to that pressing question may soon be at hand. This week, the Times of London reported that the world's most famous sheep, Dolly, is pregnant. The Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, where scientists initiated Dolly's development from an adult ewe cell (SN: 3/1/97, p. 132), had not made an announcement when Science News went to press.
Beyond providing fodder for farmers' tabloids, Dolly's pregnancy would confirm that she is fertile, further, evidence that the cloned animal is normal, despite her unconventional means of conception. Because Dolly was created using DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. from a 6-year-old animal, biologists have wondered if she would suffer premature aging or other problems. To determine whether Dolly is fertile, investigators mated her last year. No official due date has been released, but Dolly is in partial quarantine quarantine (kwŏr`əntēn), isolation of persons, animals, places, and effects that carry or are suspected of harboring communicable disease. to minimize the risk of miscarriage miscarriage: see abortion.
or spontaneous abortion
Spontaneous expulsion of an embryo or fetus from the uterus before it can live outside the mother. , according to according to
1. As stated or indicated by; on the authority of: according to historians.
2. In keeping with: according to instructions.
3. the Times.
Roslin Institute scientists are conducting further tests to confirm that Dolly's DNA matches that of the donor ewe and not that of a fetus fetus, term used to describe the unborn offspring in the uterus of vertebrate animals after the embryonic stage (see embryo). In humans, the fetal stage begins seven to eight weeks after fertilization of the egg, when the embryo assumes the basic shape of the newborn the ewe may have been carrying. Several scientists have raised the latter possibility, noting that no other research group has yet duplicated the cloning of an adult animal.