By Brad Jones and Kristin Houser (Futurism),
Earlier this month, Chinese scientists cloned two female macaques. Although it wasn’t the first time primates had been cloned successfully, it was the first time they’d been cloned using somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same technique used to clone Dolly the sheep in 1996.
For somatic cell nuclear transfer, scientists implant the nucleus from a cell of the animal being cloned into a donor egg. That egg is then exposed to an electric current, which causes it to develop into an embryo that can eventually be carried by a surrogate.
In prior experiments involving primates, this process failed during the blastocyst stage of embryonic development. However, by introducing a compound called trichostatin A and messenger RNA to the mix, the Chinese researchers were able to avoid the pitfalls of previous attempts.
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