Dolly the sheep did not suffer from early aging diseases, say scientists

© Photo : University of NottinghamКлоны of Dolly the sheep, born in 2007Dolly the sheep did not suffer from early aging diseases, say scientists© Photo : University of Nottingham

. X-rays of bones of the sheep Dolly, her daughter and two other cloned sheep showed that they suffered from osteoarthritis and other forms of senile diseases and not aging abnormally fast, according to a paper published in the journal Scientific Reports.

«The results of our experiments, which we announced last year, contrary to a common perception that Dolly became ill with osteoarthritis due to the fact that the clones age faster than normal animals. We drew attention to the fact that no one actually comprehensively studied the history of her illness, and tried to correct this defect,» said Kevin Sinclair (Kevin Sinclair) from the University of Nottingham (UK).

The most famous sheep in the world, Dolly, was born in the laboratories of the Institute Rossinskogo in July 1996, the first in the world experiment on the cultivation of clone an animal from adult cells. Dolly lived short enough for the sheep life is 6.5 years and died in 2003 from osteoarthritis that has caused many opponents of cloning say that this process leads to irreversible damage in the body and leads to accelerated aging of the clone.

Last year, Sinclair and his colleagues have shown in practice that such allegations are not true, creating four clone Dolly the sheep from the cells of its mammary gland, as well as nine other clones, none of which still did not die or was not seriously ill.

Successful completion of these experiments forced the British geneticists to doubt that the allegations of the presence of osteoarthritis Dolly was based on reliable scientific data. They checked the insights of colleagues, enlightened the bones of Dolly, her daughter Bonnie, and the other two the first cloned sheep, Megan and Morag, with the help of x-rays.

Having received these pictures, the scientists gave them three leading veterinarians and specialists in the field of osteoarthritis, asking to assess the condition were joints of sheep. No expert, as emphasized by Sinclair, initially did not know who owned these pictures, and why geneticists have studied them, and so their sympathy or antipathy to the address of Dolly and other cloned animals were not supposed to affect their conclusion.

«As shown by our analysis, the number and pattern of distribution of lesions of osteoarthritis in the bones of the clones was the same as the «normal» sheep of a similar age. This suggests that the statement that cloning is accelerated aging of sheep and has led to the development of osteoarthritis, are not true,» added Sandra Corr (Sandra Korr) from the University of Glasgow (Scotland), one of the veterinarians who examined the bones of a sheep.

How did this false idea and how it spread to the academic and social environment, apparently, will be one of those mysteries that will have to solve is to historians. As noted by Sinclair, the scientific literature found only one mention of the fact that Dolly was suffering from severe forms of osteoarthritis, and it is not even in the article, but the abstract of the conference.

No specific data on the basis of which was made such a conclusion, was never published, which significantly complicates the search of the roots of this erroneous theory, it is possible to «authors» and the definition of their motives, the scientists conclude.