The name “Dolly” came from a suggestion by the stockmen who helped with her birth, in honor of Dolly Parton, because it was a mammary cell that was cloned.
In 1995 scientists successfully created a clone from an adult mammal’s somatic cell. This game-changing breakthrough in biology was named Dolly. But what about Dolly Parton inspired this honor? Her own groundbreaking career? Some signature witticism or beloved lyric? Nope. It was her iconic big bust. English embryologist Ian Wilmut revealed, “Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s.”
Sheep Dolly was the world’s first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell and she captured the imaginations of people world wide. She was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland, and lived there until her death when she was six years old.
In an attempt to allow Dolly to have as normal as life as possible it was decided that she should be allowed to breed. A small welsh mountain ram was selected as her mate and between them they successfully produced 6 lambs. Their first, Bonny, was born in the spring of 1998. Twins followed the next year and triplets the year after that.