UK experts hail cloning breakthrough

Cloning experts in Britain have welcomed news that an American research team has cloned dozens of embryos from adult monkeys in a breakthrough that could lead to the efficient creation of cloned human embryos for research.

Scientists in the US said they had produced dozens of cloned embryos from a 10-year-old adult macaque monkey using a new technique that avoids damaging the egg cells. They also said they had extracted stem cells from some of the embryos and grown them in the test tube into the specialised cells of the nervous system and the heart.

Sir John Gurdon, of Cambridge University, who was the first scientist to clone an animal when he produced cloned tadpoles in the 1960s, said the scientists, from the Oregon National Primate Research Centre in Beaverton, had performed "marvellous work" that should provide the basis for attempts at cloning human embryos.

Sir Richard Gardner, a Royal Society professor at Oxford University, said it was hard to assess the true value of the work until it was formally published, but preliminary findings, as reported in The Independent yesterday, suggested that it was an important breakthrough.

"It certainly seems to discredit the claim that there is something fundamentally different about primates that makes cloning difficult in monkeys and humans," Sir Richard said.

Robin Lovell-Badge, a stem cell scientist at the National Institute for Medical Research in Mill Hill, near London, said: "Although this work has not been published yet, it is potentially significant because there has been a worry that primates may prove to be difficult in terms of cloning."

The Oregon team, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, has experimented in placing about 100 cloned macaque embryos into the wombs of about 50 surrogate mothers, but so far the scientists have not had any success in producing live offspring.

Professor Don Wolf, a leading member of the Oregon team, said that the breakthrough resulted from a new way of handling primate egg cells under a microscope using polarised light rather than ultraviolet light and dyes.

The work is scheduled to be published in Nature this month. A spokeswoman for the journal said she could not comment on any manuscript that may be in press.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Operations Manager

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: I am currently recruiting for an Operati...

Project Coordinator/Order Entry, Security Cleared

£100 - £110 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Project Coordinator/Order Entry Ham...

Senior Digital Marketing Executive

£35000 - £45000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based i...

Junior Developer- CSS, HMTL, Bootstrap

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: A leading company within the healthcare ...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz