For the first time, a team of Chinese Researchers has managed to clone two monkeys. Unveiled Wednesday, January 24 in the scientific journal Cell, this success is promising for medical research because it could allow laboratories to work with genetically uniform primate populations. But if this feat was performed with a therapeutic intent, it is not without asking many ethical questions.
In 1996 was born the sheep Dolly, the first cloned animal. Since then, mice, cats, and dogs have been born in the same way. But never our closest cousins, the monkeys, could have been cloned. It is now done. Macaques Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua share the same genetic code as their parents, so to speak.
To achieve this, we must take a cell of the individual that we want to clone and keep only its nucleus, which contains the genetic information. On the other side, on a female, researchers take a reproductive cell: an oocyte and remove the nucleus. The idea is to insert the genetic information of the first individual into the oocyte.
After a few days, an embryo appears and is transferred to the uterus of a surrogate mother.......