First Cloned Rhesus Monkey Reaches Adulthood

First Cloned Rhesus Monkey Reaches Adulthood
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The Facts

  • According to a study published in Nature Communications on Tuesday, a cloned rhesus monkey (Macaca mulatta) has successfully reached adulthood for the first time, having lived past the two-year mark.

  • The monkey — named ReTro — was cloned by Chinese researchers using an adjusted method from that used for the first-ever cloning of a mammal in 1996, Dolly the sheep.

The Spin

Narrative A

Monkey cloning has a long and controversial history, but given that a cloned rhesus has lived happily and healthily for over two years now, the potential medical benefits should be our focus. Though it won't happen tomorrow, scientists can now work on developing medicine for conditions like visual impairment, deafness, heart disease, and metabolic conditions, as well as extremely rare diseases that cause immense suffering.

Narrative B

Many countries have excluded primates from scientific experiments due to their similarity to humans concerning abilities and feelings. If cloning monkeys are allowed to continue, not only will such torture of these creatures increase, but so will the market for buying and selling them into captivity. Whenever a creature is cloned and experimented on, it shows the humans using it have little care for their moral status — if this carelessness is normalized on monkeys, treating humans this way could be next.

Metaculus Prediction

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