How was Dolly the sheep named?

Dolly the Sheep on the cover of "Time" magazine (Mar. 1997)

Here’s a fun little fact. Dolly the Sheep (1996-2003), the first mammal successfully cloned from an adult cell, was named for Dolly Parton.

Why? Because Dolly was created out of a mammary gland cell. This made the stockmen who helped with her birth think of the well-endowed country singer.

Iam Wilmut, leader of the research group that cloned Dolly, had this to say about the name: “Dolly is derived from a mammary gland cell and we couldn’t think of a more impressive pair of glands than Dolly Parton’s.”

I can tell you with confidence that this is the only boob-inspired name I know of.

Source: “Dolly the sheep clone dies young.” BBC News 14 Feb. 2003.

Image: © 1997 Time

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