Genetics of China for the first time have cloned a monkey by the method of «Dolly the sheep»

© Photo : Qiang Sun and Mu-ming Poo, Chinese Academy of Sepsecs Chung and Hua HuaGenetics of China for the first time have cloned a monkey by the method of «Dolly the sheep»© Photo : Qiang Sun and Mu-ming Poo, Chinese Academy of Sciences

. Molecular biologists from China for the first time were able to grow two clones of the same monkeys using the same technique that was applied in the cloning of «Dolly the sheep», says the article, published in the journal Cell.

«A method of cloning monkeys gives us a lot of new possibilities. Now we can grow primates with exactly the same set of genes, with the exception of one stretch of DNA, whose structure we have changed. This will help not only to reveal the essence of many genetic diseases, but also to find new methods of dealing with cancer and disorders of the immune system,» says sun Qiang (Qiang Sun), Director of the Center for the study of primates at the Institute of neurophysiology KANG in Shanghai (China).

The first cloned animal on Earth, Dolly the sheep, was «the product of» three mothers, one of which left her their genetic material, and the second gave the first egg, and the third was carrying her after the successful transfer of DNA the first parent in a sexual cell of the second.

The birth of Dolly opened up a new era in biology and genetics – now scientists have the ability to create «clean» lines of experimental animals with exactly the same DNA and resurrect the extinct species. Initially, researchers feared that cloning technique leads to accelerated aging of the body and rarely succeeds, but in recent years they were able to show that it is not, and to increase the chances of success up to 70-80%.

The key to solving this problem, as noted by a Chinese biologist, was to accelerate the process of migrating the kernel from «normal» monkey cages of the donor to an empty egg cell, which significantly reduced the likelihood that the process of its further development will go down the wrong path. Additionally, the scientists developed a special «cocktail» of enzymes and RNA molecules that protected protein coat DNA from damage and forced the egg to share after entering the new kernel.

Current estimates by Chinese researchers, similar cloning technique succeeds in every third case the donor DNA are cells of the connective tissue, prepared in a special way. This figure, according to the sun, it will be possible to make even higher in the future through further optimization of the transfer procedure of the kernel.

As acknowledged by the researchers, in the past, scientists have managed to create a copy monkey, but in the strictest sense it was not a clone – in fact, biologists have divided the embryo into several parts during the initial phases of its development, which led to the birth of not one, but two monkeys. In this way you can clone no more than four individuals at a time, which greatly limits the scientific usefulness of this technique in comparison with the ideas of Suna and his colleagues.