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Last Updated: Saturday, 29 December 2007, 17:09 GMT
Honour for Dolly sheep scientist
Dolly (BBC)
Dolly became the most famous sheep in the world
The scientist who led the team that created Dolly the sheep has received a knighthood in the New Year Honours.

Professor Ian Wilmut and researchers from the Roslin Institute captured the world's attention in 1997 when they unveiled the first cloned mammal.

Another scientist to be honoured is Debby Reynolds, the UK government's former chief veterinary officer.

Dr Reynolds, who retired in November after four years in the post, has been made a Companion of the Order of Bath.

Her final 12 months as chief vet saw her head the government's response to a series of outbreaks, including bird flu, bluetongue and foot-and-mouth, across farms in the south-eastern corner of England.

Debby Reynolds (Getty Images)
Dr Reynolds led the government response to a series of outbreaks

The National Trust's director general, Fiona Reynolds, has been made a dame for services to conservation.

The Trust is one of the UK's largest landowners and is responsible for many of the nation's historical and natural landmarks.

Mike Ferguson, Professor of Molecular Parasitology at the University of Dundee, has been made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE).

The honour is in recognition of his work to try to find a vaccine for currently incurable insect-transmitted tropical diseases, such as African sleeping sickness.

Professor Martyn Poliakoff of Nottingham University's Clean Technology Group has also been made a CBE.

The Royal Society fellow's current research includes looking at how green chemistry can deliver environmental benefits.

And in a year that climate change has dominated the headlines, Dr Godfrey Jenkins, head of the UK Met Office's Headley Centre's Climate Change Programme, has become an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

The birth of cloning

The birth of Dolly more than a decade ago marked the beginning of a new era for science and made Professor Wilmut an internationally recognized figure.

Egg being collected

The humble Finn Dorset sheep turned on its head the widely held belief that mammalian cloning from adult cells was a scientific impossibility.

The Edinburgh-based team created the cloned sheep (named after the singer Dolly Parton) by taking a cell from the udder of the mother sheep, and adding its DNA to an unfertilized egg that had its own DNA removed.

The fused cells were then grown in a laboratory before being implanted into the uterus of a surrogate mother sheep.

News of the success prompted an international debate about the ethics of the technique, with a number of groups voicing fears that it paved the way for the cloning of humans.

It was not the first time Professor Wilmut, an embryologist, had pushed the boundaries of science.

See the animals in the cloning hall of fame

In 1973, while at the University of Cambridge, his research led to the birth of the first calf to be produced from a frozen embryo, which he called Frosty.

Since the arrival of Dolly, 13 mammal species have been cloned using a similar technique used by the team led by Professor Wilmut.

He now is director of the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine at Edinburgh University.

His knighthood has been awarded for services to science.

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