In a breakthrough, Chinese researchers clone monkeys hoping to provide better disease models
Two monkeys are making headlines around the world. Now barely two months old, they might help lead the way down the path to some of the Holy Grails of biomedical research — at least that’s the hope of their creators.
Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the identical long-tailed macaques, were created at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai with the same method that gave birth to Dolly the sheep in 1996. Known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT, it takes the nucleus of a differentiated cell from one animal and infuses it into an empty egg cell from another. An electric current triggers the egg to develop into an early embryo, and the resulting fetus, grown in a surrogate, would be a replica of the animal that donated the nucleus.
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