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First cloned monkeys born in China

By Wu Yuehui (People's Daily)    10:26, January 25, 2018

Beijing (People's Daily) – Researchers in China officially made history on Wednesday when it was announced they had successfully cloned two monkeys.

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, both female monkeys, were cloned from fetal fibroblasts, a cell found in connective tissue.

The cloning method involves removing the nucleus from a donor egg cell and replacing it with one taken out of a cell from another animal.

Somatic cells are a concept relative to germ cells. It is a type of cell whose genetic information does not pass to the next generation like germ cells.

Zhong Zhong was born on November 27, and Hua Hua was born on Christmas Day.

Both monkeys are in good health under the watchful eyes of a research team that has been working on the clone project for five years.

Research team leader, Sun Qiang, at the Institute of Neuroscience and Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.

Since “Dolly’ was cloned in Scotland in 1996, scientists have successfully used SCNT to clone more than 20 other species, including cows, pigs, dogs, rabbits, rats and mice.

But cloning primates had always remained elusive.

The Chinese team succeeded by using modulators to switch on or off certain genes that were inhibiting embryo development.

“After this technology matures, the future, China can also be built to nonhuman primates as a model of the main research and development base and industrial chain,” said scientist Pu Muming. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Liang Jun)

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