Their haunting and frightened eyes look back at the camera, and two cloned monkeys Zhong Shong and Hua Hua – are the heartbreaking results of cruel experiments in China laboratories where 79 times before, baby monkeys had no names because they never survived.
Researchers in China announced on Wednesday, the two cloned monkeys were the first time primates to have been cloned using the technique that produced Dolly the sheep more than 20 years ago. Dolly, the Finn Dorset, lived six-and-a-half years of an expected life span of 12 years. She was euthanized after being diagnosed with lung cancer. There had been 277 cloning attempts before Dolly, and for her entire short life, she had been plagued with health issues.
The long-tailed macaques were made from fetal cells grown in a petri dish. The clones are identical twins and carry the DNA of the monkey fetus that originally provided the cells, according to a study published in the journal Cell. They were born at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.
The practice of cloning is extremely inhumane for animals. Not shown in public relation photos accompanying the cuddle toys with babies Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, are the deformities and early deaths of others born. Statistically 96 percent of the animals die within the first six months; and that doesn’t include the day after day of experiments, poking and prodding. Then there are the insufficient immune systems born with these little ones – making them susceptible to heart failure, respiratory diseases and physical disabilities. And how they suffer – all for medical science?
The Independent reports “there was much failure before we found a way to successfully clone a monkey,” stated the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
According to the New York Times, investigators say they followed international guidelines for animal research set by the National Institutes of Health. They anticipate that the method could be used to produce monkeys for research. The era of biomedical research on chimpanzees in the United States is over; most have been sent to sanctuaries to live out their lives in peace. After all, these are intelligent beings who share characteristics with humans, and isn’t it their right to live free in their own environments?
If scientists wanted to create a monkey identical to an adult, the current method would not work. And the technique used by the Chinese scientists could not produce a human infant, even if that were ethically permissible. In the movie Frankenstein, a crude attempt of cloning was carried on in a basement. Nowadays, it is done in laboratories, and we call it science for the advancement of human survival.
Therefore – whether or not cloning can be considered ethical, how and why does it land on humans to decide if they should have dominion over every other species for their experiments and financial gain?
Good luck little Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua.
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