In 1996, Dolly the sheep made headlines for being the first mammal cloned from an adult cell. She was put down in 2002. But as it turns out, Dolly's still alive today. A scientist secretly made four copies years ago.
Sometime around 2006, Professor Keith Campbell of Nottingham University defrosted the mammary gland tissue used to make the original Dolly and cloned himself four perfect replicas. The Dollies' existence had been kept relatively quiet until Campbell mentioned them in a recent lecture on animal cloning and welfare at the European Parliament. Serious animal cloning bahhhhhmbshell.
"Dolly is alive and well," said Campbell, who keeps the sheep as pets on Nottingham's campus. "Genetically these are Dolly."
In fact, they may be better than Dolly. The original clone suffered from lung disease and arthritis and had to be put down at age six. The new Dollies, all roughly age 4, have had no health problems to speak of and show no signs that they'll develop the arthritis that plagued their genetically identical predecessor. The cloning process was easier this time around, too; O.G. Dolly was the only survivor out of 277 eggs, while each of the new Dollies came from a group of only five embryos. That's progress! And in the interest of full disclosure, I guess now's a good time to mention that I've raised an entire army of Dolly clones with which I intend to annex Manhattan. Sheep Meadow, here I come. [Daily Mail]