Scientists using the cloning technique that produced Dolly the sheep back in 1996 have for the first time cloned healthy monkeys. Chinese researchers announced yesterday (January 24th) what they’d done, saying they’d created two female baby macaques, who are now about seven and eight weeks old.
Although the technique had been used since Dolly on mammals including dogs, cats, pigs, cows and ponies, this is the first time it was able to be successfully used with primates.
Monkeys, like humans, are primates, and this achievement is a step closer to potentially being able to clone humans. However, the researchers said that while this shows cloning humans is theoretically possible, they have no intention of doing it. Mainstream scientists, including international scientific groups, oppose creating human babies through cloning.