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China has successfully cloned primates for the first time, bringing science one step closer to making human copies in a lab.
The Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai successfully cloned two long-tailed macaque monkeys, named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, in a lab several weeks ago, and plans to do more, according to New Science.
Years - Shoukhrat - Mitalipov - Director - Center
“It’s been tried for so many years and it hasn’t worked,” Shoukhrat Mitalipov, director of the Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, Ore., told NPR. “This time it worked, which is a big deal.”
The breakthrough came when the Chinese team took DNA from fetal monkey cells, instead of using adult cells like how the sheep Dolly was cloned more than 20 years ago. The fetal macaque nuclei were then placed in a donor embryo, and grown in the wombs of surrogate monkeys.
Researchers - Egg - Embryo - Embryo - Copy
Researchers use an electric current to fool the egg into acting fertilized, so that it starts to develop into an embryo. Then, the embryo grows into an exact copy of the animal that donated the nucleus.
Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua were both created from connective tissue cells taken from the fetus of an aborted female monkey. The team implanted 79 embryos into 21 surrogates, and the two macaques were the only successful pregnancies.
The institute says it...
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