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Archive for the ‘Science & Technology’ Category

March 23, 1983

Barney B. Clark, the first recipient of an artificial heart, dies on this day. The Jarvick 7, an artificial heart made of polyurethane and aluminum, was designed by Dr. Robert Jarvick after years of tests. However, it was Clark, a 61-year-old retired dentist, who gave the Jarvick 7 its first real human trial. Clark successfully underwent a seven-and-a-half-hour transplant operation at the University of Utah Medical Center in December 1982. He survived for 112 days, finally succumbing on March 23, 1983, to complications caused by the implant.

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Microsoft Windows is the name of several families of software operating systems by Microsoft. Microsoft first introduced an operating environment named Windows in November 1985 as an add-on to MS-DOS in response to the growing interest in graphical user interfaces (GUIs). Microsoft Windows eventually came to dominate the world’s personal computer market, overtaking Mac OS, which had been introduced previously. At the 2004 IDC Directions conference, IDC Vice President Avneesh Saxena stated that Windows had approximately 90% of the client operating system market. The most recent client version of Windows is Windows Vista. The current server version of Windows is Windows Server 2003. The successor to Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008, has been released to manufacturing, but is not yet generally available.

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Dolly (July 5, 1996 – February 14, 2003), a female sheep or ewe, was the first mammal to be cloned from an adult somatic cell, using the process of nuclear transfer. The cell used was a mammary gland , proving that a cell taken from a specific body part could create a whole individual. She was named Dolly after the curvaceous country western singer Dolly Parton. Previously it was believed that a specific cell could only produce replicas of the same body part from which it was obtained. She was cloned by Ian Wilmut, Keith Campbell and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, Scotland, and lived there until her death at age six. Her birth was announced in February 1997.

On November 11, 2003 it was announced that Dolly had been euthanised because of a progressive lung disease and crippling arthritis. A Finn Dorset such as Dolly would have had a life expectancy of around 12 – 15 years, but Dolly lived to be only 6 years of age. Dolly did not die because of being a clone: an autopsy confirmed she had Ovine Pulmonary Adenocarcinoma (Jaagsiekte), a fairly common disease of sheep caused by the retrovirus JSRV. Roslin scientists stated that they did not think there was a connection with Dolly’s being a clone and that other sheep on the farm had similar ailments. Such lung diseases are a particular danger for sheep kept indoors, and Dolly had to sleep indoors for security reasons. However, some believe the reason for Dolly’s death was that she was actually born with a genetic age of 6 years, the same age the sheep from which she was cloned. One basis for this was that Dolly’s telomeres were short, typically a result of the aging process.

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