Chinese Scientists Just Successfully Cloned Monkeys and Humans Could Be Next

Chinese Scientists Just Successfully Cloned Monkeys and Humans Could Be Next

Researchers said they created the clone with the same technique that was used 20 years ago to create dolly the sheep.

However, Muming Poo, a neuroscientist and member of the cloning team, said: "Monkeys are nonhuman primates that are evolutionarily close to humans".

The newborn monkeys, who are now just shy of two months old, were created by scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In a world-wide first, Chinese scientists cloned two monkeys by transplanting donor cells into eggs, they said on Wednesday, a feat that could lead to genetically engineered primates for drug testing, gene editing and brain research.

Researchers said they strictly followed the global guidelines for animal research, set by U.S. National Institutes of Health. The researchers behind the project state that they hope to create genetically identical monkeys for medical research, which is an immediate practical application of this new development of a monkey clone.

A team of Chinese scientists have recently achieved the biggest breakthrough of 2018, and arguably one of the biggest in the decade: they have successfully cloned monkeys.

A similar technique has been used before, in 1997, to clone two monkeys, named Ditto and Neti.

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It was the first time scientists had been able to clone a mammal from an adult cell. Because they are primates, they will be useful to study humans diseases with a genetic component, including some cancers. The process involves transferring the nucleus of a cell into an egg which has had its nucleus removed - some serious science shit, if you ask me. "We are very aware that future research using non-human primates anywhere in the world depends on scientists following very strict ethical standards", Poo says. Out of 79 attempts, only two babies were born.

Regardless, Hua Hua and Zhong Zhong are scientific miracles in the flesh. The monkeys were cloned using fetal connective tissue cells called fibroblasts.

Technically Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are not the first primate clones. But that work was done to obtain human embryonic stem cells for research. And despite the achievement of Dolly the sheep, who was cloned in 1996, we haven't seen much dramatic progress in cloning.

He called for an worldwide ban on the cloning and genetic engineering of humans.

Experts have strongly opposed human cloning, citing ethical concerns about issues such as the low success rate and the risks of the procedure. "There's no intention to apply this method to humans", study's coauthor Mu-Ming Poo told to National Geographic.

Hua Hua and Zhong Zhong are the most human-like animals to be created to date through "true cloning" - effectively carbon-copying the DNA of a single individual. It has been used to clone 23 species from rodeo bulls to polo ponies and pet cats.

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