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Dolly `is ageing unusually quickly'

FRESH CONCERNS have been raised about the safety of human cloning with new findings that suggest Dolly the cloned sheep may be ageing faster than normal.

Tests on Dolly's genetic material have revealed that structures at the tips of her chromosomes are shorter than they should be for a three-year- old animal. The latest research, published in Nature, indicates that the chromosome structures - called telomeres - are more similar to those of a six-year-old sheep.

The findings suggest that any attempts to pursue human cloning should "proceed with caution" because of the potential for long-term problems, Alan Coleman, the Research Director of PPL Therapeutics, said.