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Cloning pioneer Ian Wilmuth, who gifted Dolly the sheep to science, died at the age of 79

The University of Edinburgh, where the professor worked until his retirement in 2012, announced the scientist’s death yesterday, on September 12. The official cause has not been made public, but it came after years of battling Parkinson’s disease.

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Dolly, born in 1996 It is the first mammal in the world to be cloned using adult somatic cells.and Wilmuth led the group of scientists responsible for this revolutionary breakthrough in medicine. The team’s discoveries in stem cell research have provided us with new opportunities in treating a variety of medical conditions.

Professor Sir Peter Matheson, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, commented on the loss of Wilmuth, a pioneer in genetic research. Matheson called Wilmuth “the titan of science” and noted that the cloning of Dolly the sheep “transformed scientific thought at the time.” He added: “This breakthrough continues to drive many of the advances we see today in regenerative medicine.”.

Wilmuth’s cloning techniques after creating Dolly, named after country singer Dolly Parton Opened opportunities to create genetically modified animals that can produce therapeutic proteins in their milk. This discovery caused concern and panic about the possibility of human cloning and led then-US President Bill Clinton to propose a ban on human cloning. Religious groups, meanwhile, accused the scientist and his team of “playing God.” Debates regarding the ethics and results of such experiments continue today.

Wilmuth was knighted in 2008 and retired in 2012. In 2018, the scientist and his team collaborated with the University of Dundee to create an initiative to research the neurodegenerative disease Parkinson’s, after he was diagnosed with the disease itself.

  • Ian Wilmut was born near Stratford-upon-Avon (Shakespeare’s birthplace) in 1944.
  • He became interested in biology while still at school in Scarborough, and later switched his studies from agriculture to animal sciences at the University of Nottingham, where he began the study for which he will become best known.
  • His PhD at the University of Cambridge was a precursor to his later discoveries focusing on embryo freezing.
  • In 1972, he became the first scientist to successfully freeze and thaw a calf embryo and transfer it to a surrogate mother.
  • He attempted to create modified sheep that could produce milk with proteins that could treat human diseases.
  • He also cloned two lambs (Megan and Morag) whose cells were taken from sheep embryos. This happened a year before Dolly, but the difference and groundbreaking feature of the latter is that her somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) material was taken from an adult.

Source: 24 Tv



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