Four clones of Dolly the Sheep have been made by the scientist behind the original genetic research, it has been reported.
The quads, nicknamed "The Dollies," are said to be exact genetic copies of their predecessor, who was put down seven years ago. Dolly was plagued by health problems and suffered from premature arthritis. She was put down in 2003 after contracting lung disease.
"Dolly is alive and well. Genetically these are Dolly," said Professor Keith Campbell, who keeps the Dollies as pets on land at Nottingham University. "We are not doing anything to them, they have no health concerns and they show none of the signs of developing the arthritis that Dolly had."
The professor, who plans to publish details about the Dollies in a scientific journal, said the health of the clones was being closely watched.
The arrival of Dolly was a landmark in genetic technology, demonstrating that scientists could reverse cellular time by converting an adult sheep's cell into an embryo, which was then grown into a new sheep.
Reprinted in part from thetelegraph.co.uk