Raelian Movement Mulling Plans for 'Macaqaid'–the First Monkey-Cloning Company?
Researchers at the Oregon National Primate Research Center said this week that they had, for the first time, generated embryonic clones from a 10-year-old male rhesus macaque and then used those to produce colonies of embryonic stem cells. To achieve this, they injected the genetic material from a skin cell of an adult monkey into a monkey egg whose own DNA had been removed, extracting embryonic stem cells from the resulting early-stage embryo.
Quite an achievement and one that could speed advances in therapeutic cloning, if the techniques on which it’s based can be applied to human cells. “This opens doors to human embryonic cloning,” said Arthur Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. “Not the most efficient procedure but there it is, it opens that door. I’m not sure we knew before that people and primates were cloneable. But what works in monkeys will work in us.”