First Primate Clones Produced Using the “Dolly” Method
Published:14 Feb.2018    Source:Scientific American
Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua—healthy newborn monkeys and the first primate clones produced via the same method that made Dolly the sheep two decades ago. The advance at a lab in China edges scientists closer to a future in which they could create large numbers of genetically identical monkeys to serve as models for human diseases and other conditions. This could help researchers unravel complex questions, including how environmental factors may fuel common human cancers.
The cloning technique they used, called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), involves swapping the nucleus of a donor cell into a fertilized egg that has been purged of its own chromosomes. The egg will then contain an exact copy of the donor’s genome, and if it is implanted into a surrogate mother, the eventual offspring will be a clone. More than 20 other species, including pigs and dogs, had already been successfully cloned using SCNT. And numerous studies of animals produced by this method indicate they are as healthy as their noncloned cousins.