Cloned Animals Do Not Age Fast, Study Finds

September 27, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. contrary to / kɒn trɛr I / (idiom) – completely different from, or the opposite of something
Example: What he said is contrary to what we know.

2. activist / ˈæk tə vɪst / (n.) – someone who gets actively involved in public protests
Example: She is a human rights activist.

3. range / reɪndʒ / (n.) – a certain level or measurement
Example: The temperature today is beyond the normal range.

4. flock / flɒk / (n.) – a group of animals of the same kind
Example: I took a photo of a flock of birds.

5. trauma / ˈtraʊ mə / (n.) – a serious wound or damage caused by a severe injury
Example: The old man suffered head trauma.

Read the text below.
Cloning, or the process of making an exact copy of an organism, does not cause early aging and other health problems to clones, study finds.

A new study on thirteen cloned sheep found that cloning does not cause early aging and other health problems. The study’s findings are contrary to the belief of some animal welfare activists that cloning may have harmful health effects on cloned animals. Researchers, including developmental biologist Kevin Sinclair, conducted a study on thirteen cloned sheep, four of which were cloned from the same mammary gland tissue that produced the cloned sheep Dolly, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.

The thirteen sheep underwent blood glucose levels and blood pressure tests. The study showed that the sheep were healthy and free from diabetes and high blood pressure— diseases that are common to older sheep.  In addition, all vitals from the four sheep cloned from the same mammary gland tissue that produced Dolly were within the normal range

Dolly died at the age of six. Before her death, she had severe arthritis. Her early death and arthritis created the idea that clones age fast.

However, researchers said that her death was not related to old age but to a virus that infected and killed her flock. According to Sinclair, Dolly’s arthritis could have been caused by trauma to her joints. Researchers are certain that her death had nothing to do with being a clone.

Mark Westhusin, a reproductive biologist, also said that the aging rate of animals, both on clones and nonclones, varies. Westhusin was one of the researchers who produced the first cloned cat. He said that the cat is doing fine at the age of fifteen, and this confirms what most researchers believe about cloning.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         What is the relevance of conducting a study on the thirteen cloned sheep?
·         Do you think that animal welfare activists should stop opposing animal cloning? Why or why not?

Discussion B

·         What do you think cloning will be like in the future? Will it stop or continue to expand?
·         If human cloning becomes possible in the future, would you want to clone yourself? Why or why not?

September 27, 2016