01:57 AM ET 03/02/97
Oregon scientists cloned monkeys from embryos-report
    WASHINGTON (Reuter) - Scientists in Oregon have produced
monkeys from cloned embryos, the first time a species
that closely related to humans has been cloned, researchers told
the Washington Post.
    The paper reported in its Sunday editions that scientists
had used a technique similar to the one Scottish researchers
used to clone sheep -- the first time an adult animal had been
successfully cloned.
    News of the Scottish cloning has caused a worldwide uproar,
prompting some governments to promise thorough checks on
scientists and bans on carbon-copy humans.
    Experts said the cloning success in Oregon, which has not
yet been announced or published in a scientific journal, adds to
a growing body of evidence that there are no insurmountable
biological barriers to creating human clones.
    The two monkeys, born in August, were cloned from cells
taken from embryos -- not an adult animal, like the sheep Dolly.
The cloned primates are not genetically identical to any adult
monkey, the newspaper reported, quoting interviews with the
researchers.
    Lead researcher Don Wolf, a senior scientist at the Oregon
Regional Primate Research Center in Beaverton, and director of
the human invitro fertilization laboratory at Oregon Health
Services University in Portland, told the paper researchers do
not plan to produce clones from adult monkeys.
    ``This is really an effort to see if we can create
genetically identical monkeys for research,'' he told the paper.
    Far fewer of these carbon-copy animals would be needed for
drug experiments because their sameness would eliminate much of
the genetic variability that confounds such experiments, he
said.
    The two monkeys are not identical to each other because they
were cloned from different embryos, but researchers said the
technique could be used to create eight or more identical
monkeys from a single embryo.
    The same technique has already been used to clone embryos in
other species. Scottish research Ian Wilmut and his colleagues
who created Dolly also used the technique last year to clone
sheep embryos, an intermediate step to their successful cloning
of Dolly from an adult.
    Further advances could lead to the ability to make clones of
adult monkeys as well, researchers told the Post.
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