Prologue

After Bonnie (1998), Dolly gave birth to twins, in the year 1999. They were named Sally and Rosie. The next year triplets followed, named Lucy, Darcy and Cotton. From the year 2000, things started turning sour for both Dolly and other cloned sheep at Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland. This mainly happened due to the spread of sheep pulmonary adenomatosis (SPA)- a viral disease associated with lungs.

 

dolly-3
Finally the history rests in the National Museum of Scotland, having its biggest leap in Science.

The Final Chapter

Life is not always a bed of roses. Someone truly said this. It’s January 2000 and I, Dolly, helplessly mourning over the death of our old friend Cedric. He was one of the first cloned sheep.

He succumbed to sheep pulmonary adenomatosis (SPA). I had no clue about it except for the fact it was deadly.  I was immediately placed in isolation. I was completely cut off from my friends and family. Brave little Bonnie was keeping me company.

Life became very monotonous, except for Bonnie was there. I used to tell her tales of my cloning, the progress of science and whenever she used to ask why I am isolated, what more could I answer other than being a genetically important organism. I didn’t know whether to take pride in being “the famous clone” anymore. Same routine used to be repeated daily- eat, sleep, pose for the camera. I was more like a couch potato now.

More bad news followed in March. Morag, one of another cloned sheep passed away due to the same cause as Cedric. She was housed with me for years. She was like a sister to me. On the other hand my scientist parents were busier diagnosing me, running several tests on me and my lambs. Clearly there was no place for a sheep’s emotions.

So what exactly was sheep pulmonary adenomatosis. Two deaths in the institute and I still didn’t know the cause until one day I overheard the vets talking about it. It is a contagious lung tumor that can be transmitted experimentally. Two viruses were associated with it- herpesvirus and retrovirus. Nothing much got into my head except few catchy words like lung, tumor and virus. So basically it is a deadly, incurable lung disease,   transmitted by virus.

Sitting in isolation with Bonnie, I used to think about rest of my family- David, Sally, Rosie and my triplets. I missed them a lot.

Where exactly is all this science progress leading too, sometimes I wonder why the humanity is so much into their passion that they lose the touch of emotions- just a food for thought.

The storm of bad news was yet not over. The worst hit was in September, when one of my own twin lambs was diagnosed with SPA. How worse it could get anymore. I didn’t even know which one of Sally or Rosie were affected. Vets couldn’t save her as it was incurable. Bonnie was devastated too hearing the death of her sister. I had to stay strong for her. Hiding my grief, I used to lure her into tales of angels and their cute little lambs. Her sister was one of them too.

Now that when scientists were confirmed that I too was suffering from SPA, they no longer had the need to keep me isolated from the flock because the worst, according to them, had already happened. I was returned to the flock. There was no cheer in that life anymore. Everything was changed. For my scientist parents it was just a loss of few cloned sheep. But for me it was a loss of family and friends. I didn’t expect them to understand my situation and didn’t blame them either for being detached. After all they were just doing their job.

A year passed like that. In late 2001, I started having problems in getting up and walking. I was limping. Vets ran a few tests and concluded I am having mild arthritis. What else could happen after spending the majority part of my life sleeping over hard floor instead of grasslands like the other sheep used to. I was treated with anti inflammatory drugs. Many questions were again raised on my pre-mature aging. But still the exact cause of developing arthritis at a young age was unknown.

I hardly cared what was going on in the institute. All I was happy about by seeing Bonnie catching up well with other lambs. I didn’t want my illness affect her in any ways. I was just waiting for my slow death.

 

Epilogue

On February 14th, 2003, Dolly was euthanized because of her diseased condition. Aged six and half, she was a scientific sensation. It was hard for Sir Ian Wilmut and his team to give upon her. He said, “We debated, under these circumstances, how hard we should struggle for her to recover. Wouldn’t it be kinder to just let her go? So we euthanized her. You are responsible for the welfare of the animals on your project”.

Dolly was important because she captured the public imagination. The idea that there might be an exact copy of oneself somewhere in the world is a theme that has been often pursued in science fiction and the prospect that it might be possible to clone a human being has excited a lot of speculation and interest.

Likewise, plans to clone extinct species such as mammoths have attracted a lot of publicity, but at present such ideas must remain, like Jurassic Park, firmly in the realm of fiction.

Today Dolly, the sheep can be found at National Museum, Scotland. She was been called ‘the most famous sheep in the world.’

http://www.geneticengg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/dolly-3.jpghttp://www.geneticengg.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/dolly-3-150x150.jpgUpasana GuptaDolly - An AutobiographyGeneticsarthritis,cloning,dolly,pulmonary adenomatosis,sheepPrologue After Bonnie (1998), Dolly gave birth to twins, in the year 1999. They were named Sally and Rosie. The next year triplets followed, named Lucy, Darcy and Cotton. From the year 2000, things started turning sour for both Dolly and other cloned sheep at Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland. This...When Nature and Science meet, Magic happens !