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'No way of knowing' cause of Dolly's arthritis

A scientist says there is no way of knowing if Dolly the Sheep's arthritis is linked to the cloning process Professor Ian Wilmut, who led the team which cloned the animal, said five-year-old Dolly has arthritis in her left hind leg at the hip and at the knee. Dolly is being "closely monitored" by veterinary staff at the Roslin Centre in Edinburgh. Professor Wilmut said: "We can't tell how it will develop but she is responding well to treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs." Asked whether the condition is because Dolly was cloned, he said: "There is no way of knowing if this is down to cloning or whether it is a coincidence. We will never know the answer to that question." "We are very disappointed and we will have to keep a careful eye on her. We will be monitoring her condition to see how it develops. In every other way, she is perfectly healthy and she has given birth to six healthy lambs." In May 1999, research suggested Dolly might be susceptible to premature ageing. The possibility that the world's most famous sheep might die early was raised after a study of her genetics.....
posted Jan 7

Clone experts puzzled as Dolly grows old too soon

By David Derbyshire and Tom Peterkin (Filed: 05/01/2002)
DOLLY the sheep suffers from an unusual form of arthritis rarely found in ewes her age, raising concerns that cloning could trigger premature ageing.
Professor Ian Wilmut, the leader of the British team that created Dolly, said the ailment was likely to be linked to the cloning process and called for more research into the long-term health of clones. But he added that Dolly's pampered "celebrity" lifestyle, which has included overfeeding from visitors, might also have taken its toll.
Animal welfare campaigners said the discovery proved that cloning was cruel. Dolly, the first mammal cloned from a single cell from an adult animal, is enjoying an early retirement at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, where she was born in 1996.
Shortly before Christmas she became lame in the left hind leg. X-rays at the University of Edinburgh confirmed that she had arthritis in the hip and knee and she was given anti-inflammatory drugs to ease discomfort.
posted Jan 7

Market won't go for these little piggies
The Times

INVESTORS in PPL Therapeutics, the Scottish biotechnology company that developed Dolly the cloned sheep, have endured a rollercoaster ride this week after the initial promise of its cloned piglets sparked controversy in the world's scientific community.
Yesterday PPL's shares, which trade on London's Stock Exchange, plunged 16 per cent after it emerged that Dolly had developed arthritis at the relatively young age of five, putting a question mark over the health of cloned livestock.
Jan 5

Jan 3

Cloning firm shares soar
The Scotsman

Andrew Denholm
Five little pigs who hold the key to transplant breakthrough THE use of animal organs in life-saving transplants has come a step closer with the historic birth of five cloned piglets. The five animals, born in a laboratory in the US on Christmas Day, are the first to have been bred with a distinctive genetic make-up which scientists hope will reduce the risk of their organs being rejected by humans. PPL, a commercial offshoot of the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, which also produced Dolly the Sheep, said the breakthrough was a major step towards the routine production of animal organs and cells for humans - known as xenotransplantation. Shares in PPL soared by 44 per cent on news of the breakthrough, increasing the value of the company to about £94 million. The birth of the five female piglets, named Noel, Angel, Star, Joy and Mary, could also pave the way for pioneering treatment of diabetes, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. ..........
Dr Donald Bruce, from the Church of Scotland's society, religion and technology project, said: "The church gives a cautious welcome to today's announcement. "The prospect of using pig organs to save many human lives, or to improve substantially the quality of life of dialysis patients or diabetics, is attractive from the viewpoint of human medicine. "However, it raises serious ethical issues over the use of animals and a major question of safety." However, Dr Andre Menache, president of Doctors and Lawyers for Responsible Medicine, said xenotransplantation still presented a "Frankenstein scenario". He said: "It seems that all this money and time is being invested in animal experimentation when more and more successes are being made in more viable alternatives, such as stem cell production. "We are opposed to xenotransplantation from a public health point of view, from a moral point of view and from an animal cruelty point of view.
Jan 3

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