Wilmut, Sir Ian

Wilmut, Sir Ian,

1944– British embryologist, b. Warwickshire, England, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1971. While doing postdoctoral research at Cambridge, he was part of the team that produced Frostie, the first calf born from a frozen embryo. In 1973 he joined the Animal Breeding Research Organization in Roslin, Scotland (now the Roslin Institute of the Univ. of Edinburgh). There, he and Keith CampbellCampbell, Keith,
1954–2012, British cell biologist, b. Birmingham, England, Ph.D. Univ. of Sussex, 1986. In 1991 he joined the Edinburgh Research Station of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research (now the Roslin Institute of the Univ.
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 produced a pair of lambs from embryonic cells in 1995 and cloned a sheep, Dolly, by fusing an ovum with genetic material from the mammary cell of an adult sheep (a process known as nuclear transfer). The primary focus of his work, however, was not on cloning but on developing genetically altered livestock for use in pharmingpharming
, the use of genetically altered livestock, such as cows, goats, pigs, and chickens, to produce medically useful products. In pharming, researchers first create hybrid genes using animal DNA and the human or other gene that makes a desired substance, such as a hormone.
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. His later research has focused on the role of genetic mechanisms in the development of degenerative disease, and on developing embryoniclike stem cells from adult cells for use in treating such diseases. In 2005 he became professor at the Univ. of Edinburgh, where he later served as director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine. He was knighted in 2007. He has written several books, including The Second Creation: Dolly and the Age of Biological Control (2000, with K. Campbell and C. Tudge) and After Dolly: The Uses and Misuses of Human Cloning (2006, with R. Highfield).
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