The cloning of Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua.
Chinese scientists have cloned monkeys. This, using the same technique with Dolly sheep, two decades ago. This makes it possible to overcome a technical barrier that can open doors for cloning people as well.
Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are two identical monkeys born 8 and 6 weeks ago. That makes them the first primates cloned by a non-embryonic cell.
This was achieved through a process called “somatic nuclear transfer” of cells. it involves transferring the nucleus of a cell, which also holds DNA in an egg, the nucleus of which is removed.
Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai said their work should be a significant help to medical research, paving the way for disease studies.
Also read: Is the human cloning actually possible?
But it also brings closer the cloning to our species.
“People are primates. So, for the cloning of primate species, including people, the technical barrier has now been overcome”. Said one of the experts who were part of the program.
“The reason why we collapsed this barrier is to produce more animal models useful for human medicine and health. There is no purpose for this method to apply to people as well. Genetically-identical animals are useful in research because they offer the opportunity to compare genetic varieties. While non-cloned animal experiments may be complicated. Clones can be used to test new drugs for a variety of diseases before clinical use.”