"Rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta mulatta), male, Gokarna"
by Charles J. Sharp is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0.
[The clone is a hybrid of M. mulatta and M. fascicularis]
Chinese researchers have cloned the first rhesus monkey, a species which is widely used in medical research because its physiology is similar to humans.
They say they could speed up drug testing, as genetically identical animals give like-for-like results, providing greater certainty in trials.
Previous attempts to clone a rhesus have either not led to births or the offspring have died a few hours later.
One animal welfare group has said it is "deeply concerned" by the development.
In mammals, sexual reproduction leads to offspring made up of a mixture of genes from their father and mother. In cloning, techniques are used to create a genetically identical copy of a single animal.
The most famous cloned animal, Dolly the sheep, was created in 1996. Scientists reprogrammed a cell from another sheep to turn them into embryos which are building block cells that can grow into any part...