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A monkey perfectly cloned in a Chinese lab: the question of human cloning is back

The successful cloning of a monkey in the laboratory demonstrates that techniques are improving. It naturally opens the question of human cloning in the future.

Long associated with the realm of science fiction, cloning has become a reality today. in 1996 with the birth of the famous Dolly sheep, in Scotland. She only lived 6 years, but this was the world's first cloning of a mammal. ; received as a significant victory, a beacon of hope for saving endangered species and a gateway to further progress ;eacute;es sciences.

Since Dolly, cloning techniques have been used to clone other animals, adapting to the reproductive specificities of animals. species, including cows, rodents, cats or even horses. If these feats had a purely scientific interest, the recent cloning of a species of monkey in China takes on a completely different character. importance. Indeed, it is the first primate whose cloning was a total success with a totally viable animal. As a reminder, man made also part of the primate family. An element that gives a completely different twist to life. adventure.

In a study published on January 16, 2024 in the scientific journal Nature Communications, the director of the Acad's Institute of Neurosciences ;Chinese mie of sciences &agrav; Shanghai, Qiang Sun, also the first author of the study, indicates that the cloned rhesus monkey is called Retro and it is now older. two years and, above all, that it is perfectly viable.

A monkey perfectly cloned in a Chinese lab: the question of human cloning is back

© Zhaodi Liao et al., Nature Communications – Retro is perfectly clonedé

The first attempts at cloning primates are only a few years old and this experience, twenty years after the cloning of Dolly, has been repeated ;revealed to be very delicate after several failures. Scientists have managed to achieve this goal. their purposes by changing the composition of the placenta used for the development of cloned embryos. They noted the presence of anomalies in the placentas of cloned embryos and have therefore replaced the cells of these placentas by those of uncloned embryos. Which allowed the birth of Retro.

This success nevertheless raises important questions about the future of cloning. If science does not yet make it possible to clone humans, who would ethically unacceptable for a majority of people of the community scientific, the question of its usefulness remains posed, with important medical perspectives. One of the first points of tension is the failure rate of these techniques: in the case of Retro's birth, only 1 of the 113 embryos survived, as noted by Lluis Montoliu, from the Spanish National Center for Biotechnology, as an observer of the Chinese study. Given the fallible results, the number of failures that would be unbearable in the case of a human life, the door to human cloning is therefore today completely closed for scientists working on primates.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116