A special feature in Nature revisits the successful cloning of Dolly the sheep, which sparked a media frenzy ten years ago. The article explains how the science of cloning has shifted into stem cells and other research, instead of wholesale cloning.
Back in early 1997, none of Wilmut and his colleagues, the referees who reviewed their paper, or the Nature editors who oversaw it, anticipated the huge public reaction to the cloning of Dolly. Scientists in the field saw her birth as an incremental advance — in large part because one year earlier, Nature had published a paper from Wilmut’s group reporting the cloning of two lambs, Morag and Megan, using nuclei from embryonic cells.
“I always maintained that Dolly was expected and Morag and Megan were truly surprising,” says Davor Solter, director of the Max Planck Institute for Immunobiology in Freiburg, Germany. Solter wrote a News & Views article in Nature about the paper on Morag and Megan, suggesting that it was time to start thinking about the implications and uses of cloning mammals from adult cells.
The feature also has a sweet Cloning Timeline.