Wednesday, 14 Nov, 2007 Science
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Scientists Believe to Have Cloned Monkey Embryos

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Researchers from Oregon announced that they managed to clone monkey embryos and extract stem cells that can make a breakthrough in human cloning.

Scientists made numerous trials to clone monkey embryos and extract stem cells as monkeys are known to be most closely related to humans . Thus if this finally proves to be true, researchers will make a major step toward cloning human embryos. This can give vast possibilities for treatment of various conditions such as diabetes or spinal cord injury with the help of transplant tissue formed from stem cells, not fearing that it will be rejected by body.

During cloning, DNA from the adult animal has to be inserted into unfertilized egg. At an early stage of this embryo formation, the stem cells are extracted and tissue from these cells can be used.

Although scientists claim to clone monkey embryo, there is still a lot of controversy whether this method can be applied to humans as many embryos will be destroyed during trials.

Shoukhrat Mitalipov, one of the leading researchers from Oregon team, said that they conducted a great number of experiments, inserting about 100 cloned embryos into the wombs of 50 surrogate mothers but they didn't manage to produce live offspring.

The study has not yet been approved by other scientists, but if it proves to be true, it will be a great basis for creation of cloned human embryos.

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