Concerns were raised in 2003 that Dolly the sheep suffered from osteoarthritis when she was aged five and a half years old. No formal assessment had previously taken place, so researchers conducted a formal assessment and published the report last year to conclude that osteoarthritis was brought on by the cloning of the sheep. Experts at the University of Nottingham and the University of Glasgow teamed up to conduct radiographic assessments of the skeletons of Dolly, Bonnie (Dolly’s naturally conceived offspring) and Megan and Morag (the first two animals to be conceived from differentiated cells).
The skeletons of the sheep were, and still are being stored in a collections at National Museums Scotland. The osteoarthritis shown on the X-Rays are similar to that of the healthy clones, along with osteoarthritis shown in naturally conceived sheep, meaning there were no abnormalities. The experts concluded, along with the evidence they collected, that there were no clinical signs of osteoarthritis present in the sheep, however, they had evidence of only mild osteoarthritis with only one case being at a moderate stage.