Why scientists are manufacturing monkeys and hybrid embryos

Photo: Andre Mouton/Unsplash

On September 12th of 2020, scientists from US-based Revive and Restore cloned a Przewalski colt, last of the true wild horses, from 40-year-old DNA. Just this past February, scientists cloned a North American black footed ferret at a breeding facility in Fort Collins, Colorado.

In both cases, low population numbers led to a lack of genetic diversity — often an evolutionary death knell, leaving a species vulnerable to disease. Wildlife cloning has been hailed as a conservation success, but some of the strangest features of cloning often get left out of the story.

For one thing, the DNA donors were…

Brandy L Schillace

Author/Editor. Writing about history, science, & medicine for Scientific American, Undark, Globe and Mail, and more. brandyschillace.com. Twitter:@bschillace

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