A Step Closer to Human Cloning?

Russell Blackford

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An article published in February 2018 in the peer-reviewed journal Cell announced the successful cloning of macaque monkeys by a Chinese research team employing the somatic cell nuclear transfer technique (SCNT). SCNT is the same method that Ian Wilmut’s team at the Roslin Institute used to create Dolly the Sheep in 1996, as reported by Nature in early 1997. It has since been used to clone many other non-primate mammalian species. In essence, the DNA is extracted from the nucleus of a cell other than a germ cell, then it is transferred into an enucleated oocyte (egg cell). The offspring that results is almost exactly identical in its genetic makeup to the animal providing the nuclear DNA.

As reported in “Cloning of Macaque Monkeys by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer," authored by Zhen Liu and colleagues, the Chinese team succeeded in creating two healthy macaque monkey clones.

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