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The Second Creation

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The Second Creation

Dolly and the Age of Biological Control


15 min read
10 take-aways
Audio & text

What's inside?

And on the Eighth Day, Man created Sheep...

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Editorial Rating



  • Innovative


Science is breeding new technologies at an unprecedented rate, and with the birth of each advancement comes a new generation of ethical concerns. Few developments have rattled the world’s moral cage more than cloning, and it behooves any professional to have a working knowledge of the foundations of the current debates surrounding the genetic sciences. Of course, understanding how Dolly the Lamb was cloned from an adult sheep is probably beyond the grasp of most readers. But authors Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell (the two leaders of the cloning team) and Colin Tudge (an experienced science writer) examine every inch of scientific ground the project covered. While many details are presented densely, this clearly written, first-person account of a momentous, history-making event is fascinating, particularly for readers of a scientific bent. getabstract recommends this book to any and all readers as a basic education in a field that has the potential to impact all of our businesses and our lives. Hello, Dolly.


What Hath Science Wrought?

A team of scientists led by Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell made history at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1996 when they cloned Dolly, a lamb, from the cell of an adult sheep. This procedure marked the first time a whole mammal was cloned using a single cultured adult body cell. This breakthrough revolutionized three technologies - genetic engineering, genomics and cloning - and brought science even closer to the possibility of human cloning.

But cloning’s pioneer scientists aren’t necessarily looking forward to human cloning. In fact, Wilmut and Campbell regret that human cloning, which they find distasteful, has taken hold of people’s imaginations. To them, cloning has a different potential strength: as a powerful scientific model for studying the interactions of genes and their surroundings, and an extraordinary tool for understanding development and disease. Such scientific insights will ultimately move science into the age of biological control.

Already, researchers have incorporated into sheep the gene for human factor IX, a blood-clotting protein used to treat hemophilia. Scientists hope that, some day, mammary...

About the Authors

Ian Wilmut  studied embryology at Nottingham University and received his doctorate at Cambridge University. He joined the independent Animal Breeding Research Station, which became the Roslin Institute, where he led the team that cloned Dolly. Keith Campbell  studied microbiology at Queen Elizabeth College, London, obtained a D.Phil. from the University of Sussex and is now a cell biologist and embryologist at the University of Nottingham. He joined the Roslin Institute in 1991 to work on the project that resulted in Dolly. Writer and broadcaster Colin Tudge  majored in zoology at Cambridge University. He is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Philosophy at the London School of Economics. He has written more than a dozen books, including The Variety of Life: A Survey and a Celebration of All the Creatures That Have Ever Lived, published by Oxford University Press.

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