Samsung and the Baa-Studs in Extreme Sheepherding

On this day:

In 1997, scientists in Scotland announced they had cloned an adult mammal, producing a lamb named “Dolly”.

Dolly (5 July 1996 – 14 February 2003) was a female Finnish Dorset sheep and the first mammal cloned from an adult somatic cell. She was cloned by associates of the Roslin Institute in Scotland, using the process of nuclear transfer from a cell taken from a mammary gland. Her cloning proved that a cloned organism could be produced from a mature cell from a specific body part. Contrary to popular belief, she was not the first animal to be cloned.

The employment of adult somatic cells in lieu of embryonic stem cells for cloning emerged from the foundational work of John Gurdon, who cloned African clawed frogs in 1958 with this approach. The successful cloning of Dolly led to widespread advancements within stem cell research, including the discovery of induced pluripotent stem cells.

Dolly lived at the Roslin Institute throughout her life and produced several lambs. She was euthanized at the age of six years due to a progressive lung disease. A cause was not found that linked the disease to her cloning.

Dolly’s body was preserved and donated by the Roslin Institute in Scotland to the National Museum of Scotland, where it has been regularly exhibited since 2003.


Dolly was cloned by Keith Campbell, Ian Wilmut and colleagues at the Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, and the biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics, based near Edinburgh. The funding for Dolly’s cloning was provided by PPL Therapeutics and the Ministry of Agriculture. She was born on 5 July 1996 and died from a progressive lung disease five months before her seventh birthday (the disease was not considered related to her being a clone) on 14 February 2003. She has been called “the world’s most famous sheep” by sources including BBC News and Scientific American.

The cell used as the donor for the cloning of Dolly was taken from a mammary gland, and the production of a healthy clone, therefore, proved that a cell taken from a specific part of the body could recreate a whole individual. On Dolly’s name, Wilmut stated “Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s.”


Dolly was born on 5 July 1996 and had three mothers: one provided the egg, another the DNA, and a third carried the cloned embryo to term. She was created using the technique of somatic cell nuclear transfer, where the cell nucleus from an adult cell is transferred into an unfertilized oocyte (developing egg cell) that has had its cell nucleus removed. The hybrid cell is then stimulated to divide by an electric shock, and when it develops into a blastocyst it is implanted in a surrogate mother. Dolly was the first clone produced from a cell taken from an adult mammal. The production of Dolly showed that genes in the nucleus of such a mature differentiated somatic cell are still capable of reverting to an embryonic totipotent state, creating a cell that can then go on to develop into any part of an animal.

Dolly’s existence was announced to the public on 22 February 1997. It gained much attention in the media. A commercial with Scottish scientists playing with sheep was aired on TV, and a special report in Time magazine featured Dolly. Science featured Dolly as the breakthrough of the year. Even though Dolly was not the first animal cloned, she received media attention because she was the first cloned from an adult cell.

Scientific American concluded in 2016 that the main legacy of Dolly has not been cloning of animals but in advances into stem cell research. After Dolly, researchers realized that ordinary cells could be reprogrammed to induced pluripotent stem cells, which can be grown into any tissue.

The first successful cloning of a primate species was reported in January 2018, using the same method which produced Dolly. Two identical clones of a macaque monkey, Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, were created by researchers in China and were born in late 2017.

In January 2019, scientists in China reported the creation of five identical cloned gene-edited monkeys, again using this method, and the gene-editing CRISPR-Cas9 technique allegedly used by He Jiankui in creating the first ever gene-modified human babies Lulu and Nana. The monkey clones were made in order to study several medical diseases (per Wikipedia, news and

Dolly, The First Cloned Sheep  (Photo by Mathieu Polak/Sygma via Getty Images)
Scientists show off Dolly, the first sheep cloned from an adult cell (Photo by Mathieu Polak/Sygma via Getty Images)

First, a Story:

Dolly Parton, was not offended on learning that the first cloned sheep from an adult mammary cell was named after her: her agent said simply, “There’s no such thing as baa’d publicity.”

Second, a Song:

Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. is a South Korean multinational electronics corporation headquartered in the Yeongtong District of Suwon. It is the pinnacle of the Samsung chaebol, accounting for 70% of the group’s revenue in 2012. Samsung Electronics has played a key role in the group’s corporate governance due to circular ownership. Samsung Electronics has assembly plants and sales networks in 74 countries and employs around 290,000 people. It is majority-owned by foreign investors. As of 2019, Samsung Electronics is the world’s second-largest technology company by revenue, and its market capitalization stood at US$520.65 billion, the 12th largest in the world.

Christopher Percy Gordon Blackwell (born 22 June 1937) is an English businessman and former record producer, and the founder of Island Records, which has been called “one of Britain’s great independent labels”. According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to which Blackwell was inducted in 2001, he is “the single person most responsible for turning the world on to reggae music.”

Forming Island Records in Jamaica on 22 May 1959, aged 22, Blackwell was among the first to record the Jamaican popular music that eventually became known as ska. Returning to Britain in 1962, he sold records from the back of his car to the Jamaican community.

Backed by Stanley Borden from RKO, Blackwell’s business and reach grew substantially, and he went on to forge the careers of Bob Marley, Grace Jones and U2 among many other diverse high-profile acts. He has produced many seminal albums, including Marley’s Catch A Fire and Uprising, and The B-52’s’ self-titled debut album in 1979 (per Wikipedia).

Here are the Baa-Studs in an LED Sheep commercial in association with Samsung. The song is Chris Blackwell’s “Man In Black”. I hope you enjoy this!

Samsung and the Baa-Studs in Extreme Sheepherding


Thought for the Day:

“Cloning, wow. Who would have thought? There should be a list of people who can and cannot clone themselves.” – Ted Danson

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