Creator of Dolly the sheep to give public lecture in Madison

May 9, 2007

Photo of Wilmut

Wilmut

Ian Wilmut, the famed Scottish biologist who created Dolly the cloned sheep, is coming to Madison and will give a public lecture on the evening of Thursday, May 17, at the Overture Center.

The 7 p.m. event, titled "Cloning in the 10 Years Since Dolly," will explore the science of somatic cell nuclear transfer or cloning and its potential for biomedical research. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held at the Overture Center's Promenade Hall, 201 State St. The event has been supported by Promega Corp. of Madison; admittance will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wilmut soared to international prominence in February 1997 when Dolly, a baby lamb created from the cells of an adult sheep, was revealed to the world. Dolly was the first genetic replica of a living creature created from cells from an adult animal. The accomplishment sparked amazement and controversy as scientists, philosophers, ethicists and religious leaders perceived the potential to extend such work to humans.

Wilmut has always been against using this technology to clone human beings. However, he contests that it could lead to exciting breakthroughs in the understanding of many incurable diseases and possibly pave the way to novel therapies in the future through generating patient-specific stem-cell lines.