A Project for Better Journalism chapter

Chinese scientists clone monkeys: what next?

Scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institution of Neuroscience have successfully cloned macaque monkeys for the first time!

Following the success of cloning the first mammal, Dolly the sheep, scientists have made a breakthrough in cloning identical non-human primates through a process called somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT).

According to the Smithsonian, this process involves “removing the nucleus from the egg cell of one individual, and replacing it with the nucleus of a differentiated body cell from another individual.” This reconstructed egg is implanted into a third party, which develops into a clone of the original.

In many cases, the experimentation behind cloning has taken its turn throughout history for the good and bad.

These breakthroughs could aid in advancements for disease-fighting plants or organisms that could play a role in the health of the global community. This could possibly help countries that lack the fertile environment needed to produce fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains.

Although this advancement has opened a loophole for in-depth study into more research such as genetic disabilities and diseases, there are downsides in relation to the safety and ethical reasoning for conducting such experiments in animals.

“Cloning monkeys, matter of fact cloning a living organism is wrong but that’s the course of biology,” said physics teacher Ms.Karen Powe.

These experiments showcase how human beings have been adapted to not care about the ethical effects of conducting such experiments. Since the first success with Dolly the Sheep in 1996, scientists have since been conducting cloning and other genetic related experiments with more failure trials than successes. It has been 22 years since Dolly’s birth and within than time span, there have been countless trials to evolve what was done to Dolly, which leads us to current day with Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua.

Cloning is not only unethical but it violates the biology of it all. Men, women, children, animals, plants and everything in between were naturally created a certain way and these experiments crossed those lines.

The argument for science may still sometimes have the upper hand, but what is it worth?

“Science is moving exponentially,” said an anonymous Parkdale teacher “and I do think it would crossover to humans and its sad.”

But when will it end? To what extent will we go to find breakthroughs in science? The future of these advancements in cloning could only lead to the possibility of cloning humans.