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5-Animals: Australia's first cloned sheep dies of unknown causes

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-------------------------------- GENET-news --------------------------------

TITLE:  Australia's first cloned sheep dies
SOURCE: Ananova News
DATE:   Feb 7, 2003

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Australia's first cloned sheep dies

Australia's first cloned sheep has died unexpectedly of unknown causes.
Matilda was born in April 2000 from cloned embryos using a similar method
to that which produced the world's first cloned sheep, Dolly, at
Scotland's Roslin Institute. Matilda died at a research centre near the
southern city of Adelaide. Its body was found by staff, a day after being
inspected and appearing "remarkably healthy", , said Rob Lewis, who heads
the South Australian Research Institute which cloned the sheep. "The
animal has been particularly sprightly and her death was very
unexpected," he said. Constant monitoring of Matilda since its birth
showed it was a healthy animal, Mr Lewis said. He said Matilda's death
was a blow to the institute but said the programme would continue.
"Matilda has made her contribution to the programme," Mr Lewis said. "She
was the first of the cloned sheep. She was the one that provided the
confidence to our science community that we could do this technology. She
was the one that gave us standing internationally." At the age of nine
months, eggs taken from Matilda were used to produce healthy triplets
that were born to surrogate mothers.