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克隆猕猴在中国诞生,我们离克隆人还有多远?

更新时间:2018-1-26 8:32:47 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Yes, They’ve Cloned Monkeys in China. That Doesn’t Mean You’re Next.
克隆猕猴在中国诞生,我们离克隆人还有多远?

Researchers in China reported on Wednesday that they have created two cloned monkeys, the first time that primates have been cloned with the technique that produced Dolly the sheep more than 20 years ago.

中国研究人员周三报告说,他们已经造出两只克隆猴,这是用20多年前克隆出多莉羊(Dolly the sheep)的技术首次克隆出灵长类动物。

The long-tailed macaques, named Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, were made from fetal cells grown in a petri dish. The clones are identical twins and carry the DNA of the monkey fetus that originally provided the cells, according to a study published in the journal Cell. They were born at the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.

取名为“中中”和“华华”的长尾猕猴是用培养皿中生长的胚胎细胞造出来的。据发表在《细胞》杂志(Cell)上的研究,克隆出来的猕猴是同卵双胞胎,它们的DNA来自最初为它们提供细胞的猕猴胎儿。克隆的猕猴是在中国科学院上海分院出生的。

Dolly the sheep was produced from udder cells that had been frozen for six years. Until that feat, many researchers had thought that type of cloning was impossible, because it required taking adult cells and bringing them back to their original state, when sperm first fertilized egg.

多莉羊是用冷冻了六年的乳腺细胞克隆出来的。多莉羊出生之前,许多研究人员都认为这种克隆不可能,因为这需要在精子让卵子受精时,将成年细胞带回到原来的未分化状态。

The cell would then have to start to grow in a surrogate’s womb and to differentiate into an entire animal, genetically identical to the one that provided the initial cell.

受精后的细胞则需要开始在代孕母体的子宫内生长,并分化出完整动物所具有的全部细胞,这种克隆动物的基因与提供最初细胞的动物的基因完全一样。

But once cloning proved possible, researchers began improving their method and testing it on other species. Since Dolly was born, researchers have cloned 23 mammal species, including cattle, cats, deer, dogs, horses, mules, oxen, rabbits and rats.

但这种克隆一旦被证明是可能的,研究人员马上开始改进方法,并开始试验克隆其他的物种。自从多莉出生以来,研究人员已克隆了23种哺乳动物,包括牛、猫、鹿、狗、马、骡子、牛、兔子和大鼠。

The new monkey clones stand out, though. “It’s the first primate ever to be cloned,” said Dr. Leonard Zon, director of the stem cell program at Boston Children’s Hospital. “We are closer to humans than we’ve ever been before.”

然而,新克隆出来的猴子仍很特别。“这是第一种克隆出来的灵长类动物,”波士顿儿童医院干细胞项目主任伦纳德·佐恩(Leonard Zon)博士说。“我们与克隆人类的距离比以往任何时候都更接近了。”

“That raises questions of where we would want to go,” he added.

“这引发了我们是否想向那个方向发展的问题,”他补充说。

Still, the techniques used to make those clones are not new, and other researchers previously had initiated the process in primates.

尽管如此,造出克隆猴的技术并不新,其他研究人员以前也曾在灵长类动物身上开始过这个过程。

An initial step was reported in 2007 by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at Oregon Health and Science University. He and his colleagues removed skin cells from a 9-year-old macaque and inserted them into eggs from which the original DNA had been removed.

俄勒冈健康与科学大学的舒克拉特·米塔利波夫(Shoukhrat Mitalipov)曾在2007年发表过关于一个初步步骤的文章。他和他的同事从一只九岁的猕猴身上取出皮肤细胞,然后将这些细胞注入事先去除了DNA的卵子中。

The eggs adopted genes from the inserted cells, and the resulting clones were grown to an early embryo stage. Dr. Mitalipov and his colleagues did similar work with human embryos in 2013.

这些卵子接受了来自皮肤细胞的基因,由此产生的克隆体发育到早期胚胎阶段。米塔利波夫和他的同事也曾在2013年用人类胚胎进行过类似的研究。

The researchers, led by Qiang Sun, director of the primate research facility at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience, began with cells taken from an aborted female monkey fetus.

由中国科学院神经科学研究所非人灵长类模式动物平台主任孙强领导的研究人员从一个打掉的雌性猕猴胎儿的细胞出发。

From those, he and his colleagues created 149 early embryos, clones whose DNA was entirely derived from the fetal cells. Seventy-nine embryos survived in the lab, apparently healthy enough to transfer into the uteruses of surrogate monkey mothers.

他和他的同事用这些细胞造出了149个早期胚胎,它们都是DNA全部来自胎儿细胞的克隆。其中有79个胚胎在实验室中存活下来,而且显然足够健康,可移植到代孕母猴的子宫内。

Four of those surrogates remained pregnant, but two soon miscarried. In the end, there were two live births.

其中四只母猴怀上了孕,但两只母猴很快就流产了。最后只有两个活产。

The investigators say they followed international guidelines for animal research set by the National Institutes of Health. They anticipate that the method could be used to produce monkeys for research.

这些研究人员说,他们遵循了美国国家卫生研究院制定的用动物做研究的国际指导方针。他们预期,可用这种方法来生产用于研究的猴子。

The genes of cloned monkeys could be manipulated before the process begins, yielding animals that have edited genes in every cell of their bodies, the researchers suggested. This might allow scientists to probe the genes’ functions and to test experimental drugs on monkeys custom-made to have various genetic conditions.

这些研究人员暗示,可在克隆过程开始之前,操纵克隆猴子的基因,从而得到身体的每个细胞里都有编辑过的基因的动物。这也许能让科学家探索基因功能,并在患有各种遗传疾病的定制猴子身上测试实验药物。

The scientists tried cloning adult cells, but those attempts failed. The older a starting cell, the more difficult it is to clone and the more likely the resulting embryo or fetus will be miscarried in a surrogate female.

这些科学家们也曾尝试用成年细胞克隆动物,但那些尝试都失败了。细胞的年龄越大,就越难克隆,所得到的胚胎或胎儿从代孕母亲身上流产的可能性也越大。

If scientists wanted to create a monkey identical to an adult, or even an adolescent, this method so far would not succeed. And the technique used by the Chinese scientists is still a long way from producing human babies, even if that were ethically permissible.

如果科学家想要造出一只与成年猴子、或仅处于青春期的猴子完全相同的动物的话,这种方法到目前为止尚不能成功。用中国科学家使用的技术造出人类婴儿还有很长的路要走,即使伦理上允许这样做。

“It is unlikely it can be applied to humans,” Dr. Mitalipov said.

“这个技术用于人类不太可能,”米塔利波夫说。

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