Thursday, March 12, 2009

Dolly the Lamb

I was reading in The Intellectual Devotional about Dolly, the cloned lamb. It gave some interesting facts that suggested something much more interesting, but it just didn't go there. But I will.

Dolly's "mother" was six years old when they took the genetic material from her to make Dolly. Dolly, at the age of six, was put to sleep due to lung cancer and crippling arthritis, both ailments common in advanced ages. What makes this extremely interesting is the fact that sheep generally live to 11 or 12. In any math class I've ever taken, six (the mother's age) plus six (Dolly's age) always equals 12 (the life expectancy of the average sheep). Did Dolly's body think she was six at birth and 12 at her death? This doesn't bode well for cloning.

Would it ever be considered acceptable to clone, say, a 40-year-old man, if the clone could only be expected to live 30-odd years? Is cloning acceptable at all? Is there any practical use for cloning? I think not.

Oh, and Dolly's story isn't over. Before her death, she mothered six sheep... naturally.

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