The cloning of primates was long thought to be fundamentally more difficult than horses, sheep and other mammals and therefore much further away.
But now they’ve done it. Video:
Regarding the ethics of using experimental monkeys, clones or not, a Chineese researcher speaking offers the rationale that US drug companies are importing 20-30,000 monkeys per year for research. Who would be surprised if US drug companies use the rationale of needing to compete with China? The reason given by one group goes something like that:
Cases … led the National Academy of Sciences in a report last year to call for research into finding alternative species, expanded rhesus breeding and a vigorous effort to expand primate centers.
”Failure to provide such critical research resources,” the report said, ”may seriously jeopardize our nation’s ability to protect its citizens from bioterrorism, AIDS, and other major threats to human health.”
I’ve personally been inside of a US monkey research facility and I think this is a horrible statistic. Are 20,000 to 30,000 monkeys per year being killed in the US for human-use drugs and/or cosmetics? How many in other countries? It’s strange that experimental monkeys are cited by the NAS as critical research resources for our Nation. To me this is similar to some human group saying they need to experiment on a bunch of other humans to protect themselves. We have no right, but it continues.
Next up, perhaps even before human cloning, will be select genetic enhancements, such as making citizens resistant to certain diseases.