I remember watching The Island and being mesmerized and horrified by the idea that humans may one day be able to clone themselves. Whilst fantasy, the eerie movie, which focuses on the idea that humans could one day duplicate themselves as some sort of twisted health insurance policy, was convincingly real.
The idea that you could create a copy of yourself for the purposes of organ harvesting and surrogate motherhood haunted me for weeks. It was a nightmare that would only intensify with time as I learned more about Dolly the Sheep – the first mammal to be cloned back in 1996 – and saw surrogacy become extremely popular.
While these scientific breakthroughs chilled me to the core, nothing could quite prepare me, or the world, for the birth of Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua. The two monkeys were cloned in a laboratory in China where it is hoped they can help scientists study diseases with a genetic basis, such as some cancers and immune disorders.
“There are a lot of questions about primate biology that can be studied by having this additional model,” Qiang Sun of the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience said of the successful experiment.