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Are human clones next? Your trickiest cloning questions answered

Hua Hua and Zhong Zhong, the cloned monkeys

Hua Hua and Zhong Zhong have kick-started a conversation about cloning

Chinese Academy of Sciences handout/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock

The arrival of Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, the world’s first cloned monkeys, has raised a lot of tricky questions. We address some of your biggest concerns here.

Is human cloning next?

No, but let’s look at this a little more closely.

In 2013, Shoukhrat Mitalipov at the Oregon Health and Science University and his colleagues did, in fact, clone human embryos. They used a similar method to the one that created Dolly the sheep and this week’s cloned macaques. The team started with a fetal skin cell and fused it with an unfertilised human egg from which the nucleus had been removed. The use of viruses and an electric jolt triggered the embryo to start growing. In 2014, a team led by Robert Lanza at Astellas Global Regenerative

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