Scientists Clone Monkey Embryos

Stem cells successfully extracted, raising hopes for humans
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2007 12:00 PM CST
Scientists in Oregon claim they have successfully cloned a monkey embryo in what may be an important step in artificially creating stem cells for human medicine.   (KRT Photos)
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(Newser) – Oregon scientists have successfully cloned dozens of monkey embryos and extracted stem cells from them, a long-sought breakthrough that raises hopes of doing the same in humans. After years of failure—and even fraud—scientists feared a fundamental barrier to primate cloning, the Independent reports. “To me, it’s a breakthrough,” said one scientist, because it shows “it is possible.”

If replicated in humans, the process could produce perfectly matched transplant tissue that could be used to treat illnesses like diabetes or spinal cord injury, the AP explains. That’s still a long way off—the process that produced the monkey embryos is inefficient, requiring many eggs to produce stem cells.