Bones show that Dolly’s arthritis was normal for a sheep of her age


In the scientific version of his obituary, it was reported that Dolly the Sheep suffered severe arthritis in the knees. The finding and the premature death of Dolly from an infection led many researchers to believe that cloning could cause animals to age prematurely.

But the new X-rays of Dolly's skeleton and those of other cloned sheep and Bonnie, a daughter conceived naturally from Dolly, indicate that the world's first cloned mammal had the joints of normal sheep of her age. Like other sheep, Dolly had a bit of arthritis in the hips, knees and elbows, development biologist Kevin Sinclair of the University of Nottingham in England and colleagues reported on November 23 in Scientific Reports .

investigators decided to reexamine Dolly's remains after discovering that their cloned "sisters" had aged normally and had no mbadive arthritis ( SN: 8/20/16, page 6 ). No formal records of Dolly's original arthritis examinations were kept, so Sinclair and his colleagues obtained the skeletons of Dolly and Bonnie and those of two other cloned sheep, Megan and Morag, from the National Museums of Scotland in Edinburgh. Megan and Bonnie were older than Dolly at the time of her death and had more bone damage than Dolly. Morag died younger and suffered less damage.

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<img alt = "" clbad = "caption" src = " default / files / images / 112217_TS_dolly_inline_720.jpg "style =" width: 720px; height: 624px; "title =" WITHOUT BONES ABOUT HIM X-rays of Dolly's humerus bones showed some damage related to arthritis at one end (yellow arrows), but the other end was smooth and immaculate.This degree of damage is similar to that of the uncloned sheep of Dolly's age, indicating that the cloning was not guilty. ~~ Sandra Corr / University of Glasgow " /> Dolly's arthritis levels were similar to those of naturally conceived sheep of her age, indicating that cloning was not at fault. "If there was a direct link to cloning and osteoarthritis, we would have expected to find much worse, and it would be more extensive and have a different distribution than that found in normal sheep," says study co-author Sandra Corr, a specialist in veterinary orthopedics at the University of Glasgow in Scotland.

Dolly's slightly crisp joints may have originated in giving birth to six lambs, including Bonnie. Pregnancy is a risk factor for arthritis in sheep.

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