Report: Cloned sheep has human gene
'Polly' could produce milk with beneficial protein
July 24, 1997
Web posted at: 10:34 a.m. EDT (1434 GMT)
LONDON (CNN) -- The scientists responsible for Dolly the
sheep, the first clone of an adult animal, have now produced
Polly, who has the added ingredient of a human gene, it was
The added gene will produce a human protein in Polly's milk
which can then be extracted and given to patients who lack
it, such as hemophiliacs and bone disease sufferers.
The financial backers of the experiment -- Edinburgh,
Scotland-based Roslin Institute and PPL Therapeutics -- are
hoping Polly will help make cloning commercially viable.
Proteins derived from Polly and other genetically modified
sheep could be in clinical trials by 1999, according to the
report in the Financial Times, a London newspaper.
Although sheep with genes from other species have existed for
years, Polly is the first one created using cloning
technology, the paper said.
Cloning allows for every sheep produced to be female and,
therefore, capable of providing milk.
"This is a realization of our vision to produce instant
flocks or herds which express high concentrations of valuable
therapeutic proteins very quickly," said Alan Colman, PPL's
The report said the human gene was added to the nucleus of a
sheep cell taken from an adult sheep, which was then fused
with a sheep embryo cell from which the nucleus had been
removed. The resulting embryo was then transplanted into a
The paper said the Edinburgh scientists also plan to apply
the technique to cows, which produce more milk.
Replacing genes in pigs could follow, allowing for the
production of animals whose internal organs could be
transplanted to humans.
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