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If you like Ian Wilmut's story, you might also like:
Elizabeth Blackburn,
Linda Buck,
Francis Collins,
John Gearhart,
Susan Hockfield,
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Shinya Yamanaka

Ian Wilmut also appears in the video:
Frontiers of Medicine

Teachers can find prepared lesson plans featuring Ian Wilmut in the Achievement Curriculum section:
Frontiers of Medicine

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Ian Wilmut
Ian Wilmut
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Ian Wilmut Profile

Pioneer of Cloning

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  Ian Wilmut

"I've always enjoyed being outdoors. So when I was 14 or so my parents, through friends, arranged for me to be able to go work on farms on the weekend."

When Ian Wilmut was a boy growing up in Coventry, England, he enjoyed working weekends on a farm, tending the cows, pigs and sheep. His interest in nature and animals led to university studies in biology, but he could scarcely have imagined the historic discovery his studies would lead to.

In February 1997, people around the world were shocked to read of the birth of Dolly, a baby lamb cloned from the cells of an adult sheep. For the first time in history, a team of scientists had created a genetic replica of a living creature, not from the cells of a developing embryo, but from those of an adult animal. Ian Wilmut and his team had frozen the activities of the adult cell and returned it to the embryonic state from which an entire animal can develop. This startling accomplishment ignited a firestorm of controversy as philosophers, religious leaders and national governments weighed in to express a widespread fear that the cloning of human beings would not be far behind. Since the detonation of the first atomic bomb, no scientific breakthrough has provoked more intense ethical debate than that engendered by the birth of Dolly.

Dr. Wilmut is highly sensitive to the ethical problems raised by his discoveries, and he is himself opposed to human cloning, but the malleability of animal cells cannot be undiscovered. Our understanding of the mechanics of animal and human life has been irrevocably altered.

This page last revised on Feb 02, 2005 17:17 EDT
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