Real Name: Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell
Place Of Birth: Hampton Lucy, England (Wilmut); Birmingham, England (Campbell)
Date Of Birth: July 7, 1944 (Wilmut); May 23, 1952(Campbell)
Location: Roslin Institute, Edinburgh, Scotland
Background: Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell are biologists at the Roslin Institute, a National Institute of Bioscience (NIB) which receives Institute Strategic Programme Grant funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). It is a part of the College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine of the University of Edinburgh. The Institute undertakes research within the framework of BBSRC Institute Strategic Programmes focused on the health and welfare of animals, and applications of basic animal sciences in human and veterinary medicine, the livestock industry and food security.
On July 5, 1996, the institute managed to clone a sheep named Dolly, but the cloning was not officially announced until February of 1997. After the announcement, some scientists began to suggest that there may be a possibility that humans can be cloned and could also possibly be brought back from the grave through cloning.
Research into cloning has gone back several decades. In the 1950s, DNA from a frog embryo was taken and another frog embryo was created. By the 1980s, the same process was used to create cow and sheep embryos. However, scientists were unable to engineer a clone from a fully-grown embryo, until Dolly. Dolly the sheep was born to three mothers: one that provided that embryo, another that carried the DNA, and the last that carried the cloned embryo. She was created using the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer.
If cloning humans is possible, some fear that a race of enslaved clones may be created. Others fear that fiendish humanoids without souls could be created. Still others believe that the dead could be brought back to life. According to some scientists, if a person's cells are frozen properly, they can later be "brought back to life" in a sense of bringing their genes back to life.
Some have feared that evil people, such as Adolf Hitler, could be brought back to life. However, other scientists have noted that it would be impossible to bring the exact same person back to life, since the clone of an adult does not emerge from the lab as another, fully-formed adult. The clone begins as a microscopic embryo, floating at the bottom of a test tube. Hypothetically, if a clone of Adolf Hitler was created, it would have to be placed into a surrogate mother. It would then go through the normal gestation period and birthing process and grow up into adulthood. There is no way of knowing who exactly that person would be.
The new person will look eerily similar to the original person, but it would also have its own personality and "soul". This is due to the fact that an individual's personality is shaped by their environment growing up. Scientists note that the most obvious benefit for cloning is for people who are unable to naturally have children. However, there is still the possibility that people could use cloning for their own personal gain.
In February of 2003, Dolly the sheep was humanely euthanized because she had developed a severe lung disease and arthritis. To this day, many are still surprised that Dolly was cloned and wonder if humans will be able to be cloned.
- Dolly The Sheep
Notes: The case was featured as a part of the March 28, 1997 episode.