>> How long should a cloned sheep live? Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal died early, suffering from osteoarthritis. So the question has worried scientists, until now. Dolly's offspring, or clones, have celebrated their ninth birthdays, reassuring the scientific community. They're calling to Reuter's Ben Hirschler.>> Yeah, it's pretty convincing evidence that they seem to live a long, normal life.
This is the most detailed examination of cloned animals that we've had.>> Unlike Dolly, who was kept indoors for security reasons, today's clones live outside which may explain their relative health. Nottingham University's flock of 13 includes four clones of Dolly, all subjected to extensive tests to prove their health.
Debbie, Denise, Diana, and Daisy's results giving the future of cloning a welcome boost.>> I mean, no one's talking about cloning a human being. That's just not on the agenda at all. But scientists are interested in cloning stem cells, which could be used as therapeutic products to treat really difficult diseases like Parkinson's or spinal cord injuries.
Now none of those products have come to market yet but this is a really interesting scientific research area, and people want to be really reassured that there're not gonna be many safety problems.>> Well-cared-for sheep can live more than ten years, but most are eaten by around nine months.
Reaching the ripe old age of nine, it seems, is a no mean feat.