Monkeys have been cloned in China. Here are Zhong Hong and Hua Hua

Monkeys have been cloned in China. Here are Zhong Hong and Hua Hua

Zhong Hong and Hua Hua – this is the name of the world’s first clones of the primate macaque monkey. Chinese scientists behind the creation of copies of macaques used the same method used for the famous Dolly the sheep.

Zhong Hong and Hua Hua are a pair of genetically identical macaquesóin crab-eating animals also known as Javan macaques. Their names spelled together – zhonghua – can be translated as Chinese naród. They were born in the laboratory of the Institute of Neurology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai. The former was born eight weeks ago, while the latter was born two weeks after her.

Researchers used the same method, która was used to clone in 1996 the first mammal, the now famous Dolly the sheep. It’s SCNT – the nuclear transfer of comósomatic. – PróWe used several róof methods, but only one worked. The way was not easy. Before we succeeded, we made many mistakesów – admitted Professor Qiang Sun, senior author of the paper published in the prestigious journal „Cell”.

However, baby macaques are not the first primates, które successfully cloned. That name went to a rhesus named Tetra. This monkey was cloned in the US in 1999 using a simpler method called embryo splittingów. The method has some limitations and it is not possible to obtain more specimens with itów. This is an artificial imitation of a naturally occurring phenomenon, when, for example. monozygotic twins are born.

SCNT, on the other hand, relies on the insertion of a cell into an unfertilizedórce of the egg nucleus of the comórk taken from the cellórki of an adult individual. Then such comóThe ewe is stimulated to develop and implanted in the uterus of the mother-to-be. The nucleus of the comórkowe contains genetic material and the born clone will be a perfect copy of the original.

Since Dolly the sheep, goats, cows, rats, mice, cats, dogs, kr have already been clonedólics or horses. China even created a machine to clone pigs using the SCNT technique. However, the próthat primate cloning using SCNT is fraught with errors. It took more than 20 years of work to make the process a success. The key turned out to be comófetal cells (specifically, fibroblasts, the most abundant cellsórki of connective tissue), whichóre were transferred to „empty” comóova. In the case of comórek from an adult individual, the clones lived only a few hours.

Chinese researchers say it is a breakthrough, który will open the way for a lot of research. Professor Qiang Sun said that populations of genetically identical monkeys would be a valuable acquisition for research porównawing. Organisms róThe cells react to rótive stimuli, and genetically identical organisms will provide more accurate control. – There are many questions about primate biology, whichóre can be studied using this additional model – admitted.

– We will be able to clone monkeys with the same genetic background, except for a gene thatórym we will want to manipulate. This will help create models not only for genetic chorób mózgu, but also chorób cancerous, immune or metabolic. This will make it possible to test the effectiveness of the drugów for these conditions before their clinical application with humans – explained Qiang Sun.

But the use of primates for experiments is banned in many parts of the world. In the European Union, it is allowed only if no other methods are available to assess the. Because of their genetic proximity to humans, their intelligence and social dynamics, these animals are considered important for biomedical research.

Currently, baby macaques are under the watchful eye of scientistsów whichóthorns they are constantly checking that they are developing correctly. So far, researchers have no objections. More clones are expected in the coming months.

Sourceóbackground: BBC , Science Alert , fot. Zhong Zhong Qiang Sun and Mu-ming Poo / Chinese Academy of Sciences

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