Scientists in China have managed to successfully clone a rhesus monkey. It is believed that this could speed up drug testing because of the monkey’s similarities to human physiology.
This is not the first time a monkey has been cloned, and certainly not the first time an animal has been successfully cloned. In 1996, the most famous cloned animal, Dolly the sheep, was created using reprogrammed cells from another sheep that were turned into embryos. The same process was done to create the cloned rhesus monkey.
Where other attempts failed, this clone lived healthily for two years, meaning the process was a success. This has set off alarm bells among animal welfare groups, who have claimed that this is not a good sign for the future.
If rhesus monkeys can be cloned, but the clones are only used for medical testing, they are essentially just scientific technical beings to test on. There is a conversation to be had about how do we value the life of a clone compared to one from a naturally born animal?