Near the end of January, newborn apes Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua made their debut as the first primate clones fixed expending a technique called somatic cell nuclear movement — the same process which created Dolly the sheep more than 20 years ago.
The identical long-tailed macaques were born in November and December at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai. Scientist Qiang Sun, director of the Nonhuman Primate Research Facility, says “there was much flop before we observed a mode to successfully clone a monkey” by removing the nucleus from an egg cell and superseding it with that of donor cells from an aborted fetus.
The births of Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua have widely been was considered as a huge technical advancement , opening up the possibility for experiments on large numbers of genetically analogous apes. They’d add more accurate models for research circumventing human diseases.
Sun says “This will generate real simulates not just for genetically based brain illness, but too cancer, immune, or metabolic maladies and allow us to test the efficacy of the dopes for these conditions before clinical use.”
Understandably, this has raised ethical pertains, particularly about human cloning. What isn’t mentioned as much are the swine who suffered throughout the process of creating Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua — and how much the baby apes will suffer themselves.
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