Meet Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, first non-human primate clones

File photo. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Delhi, India Jan 25, 2018, 05.43 AM (IST)

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are the first non-human primates to be cloned. 

A group of Chinese scientists have successfully cloned two monkeys as they announced the birth of the two genetically identical monkeys. 

Experts at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh used the same technique in 1996 to create Dolly the Sheep -- the first mammal to be cloned.

The scientific breakthrough now paves way for people to imagine the possibility of successful human cloning in the near future. However, human cloning is currently banned under international law.  

The bottle-fed baby monkeys are reported to be perfectly healthy. 

Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua are genetically identical but were born two weeks apart.

Some of the previous attempts involved splitting an embryo in half to produce identical primates. The process was essentially more similar 'artificial twinning' rather than cloning.

The experts now believe that the experiment can help in creating an army of animals that can help improve laboratory research. 

The breakthrough is getting a mixed response from scientists from across the world; some come call it a genius discovery while others stress on the possible threats associated with the power of cloning.