Cloning offers ‘seamless’ way to replace defective cells

Morning Talk 26/01/2018
Photo: iStock.

Two identical monkey clones have been made in China from cells in a petri dish, according to a study published in the journal Cell.

The clones are identical twins and carry the DNA of the monkey fetus that originally provided the cells.

Professor Peter Dearden, director of Genomics Aotearoa at Otago University, joins Mark Sainsbury on Morning Talk to discuss the implications of the cloning success for future research and innovation.

“There are still technical challenges,” he told Mark Sainsbury. “We still don’t really understand why it’s so much more difficult to clone a primate than it is a sheep.”

This might be the most effective way to make new cells.

Mr Dearden explained that the benefits of such cloning could provide “personalised types of cells that would fit your immune system.” Such technology could be useful for individuals who’ve had genetic defects or “some sort of catastrophic loss of something”, according to the professor.

“There are other ways of replacing defective cells, but cloning is one way where actually it’s kind of seamless,” he said. 

Listen to the full interview with Professor Peter Dearden above.

Morning Talk with Mark Sainsbury, weekdays from 9am-noon on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the ROVA app on Android and iPhone.