Scientists have added monkeys to the increasingly lengthy list of cloneable animals in what is the first ever example of cloning primates. Due to the biological similarities all primates share, this discovery, especially for humans, marks an important step forward in cloning technologies.
Two infant monkeys were recently born using the same cloning technique first used famously to produce Dolly the sheep back in 1996.
The breakthrough was made by the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. The infants, now 7 and 8 weeks old, were officially announced in a paper released by the Academy this Wednesday.
Ethical debates over whether or not such technology should be used on humans have flared once again, with a particular focus on acknowledging that the cloning technique involves directly replicating a living human being of express controversy.
Further debate has been sparked over the use of animal tests subjects, with organizations such as PETA voicing their particular dislike of the practice. “Cloning is a horror show: a waste of lives, time and money — and the suffering that such experiments cause is unimaginable […] because cloning has a failure rate of at least 90 percent, these two monkeys represent misery and death on an enormous scale” said Kathy Guillermo, senior vice president of PETA.
Featured Image Credits: AP/Chinese Academy of Sciences