Move over, Dolly: Monkeys cloned; a step closer to people?

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NEW YORK (AP) -- For the first time, researchers have used the cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep to create two healthy monkeys. That brings science an important step closer to being able to do the same with humans.

In this undated photo provided by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, cloned monkeys Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua sit together with a fabric toy. For the first time, researchers have used the cloning method that produced Dolly the sheep to create two healthy monkeys, potentially bringing scientists closer to being able to do that with humans. (Sun Qiang and Poo Muming/Chinese Academy of Sciences via AP)

But the researchers, from China, say they don't want to clone people. Instead, they want to use the technique to create genetically identical monkeys for medical research.

They reported their success Wednesday in the journal Cell. Mainstream scientists generally oppose the idea of making human babies from cloning.

Since Dolly's birth in 1996, scientists have cloned nearly two dozen kinds of mammals. But until now they've been unable to do it in primates, a group that includes monkeys and people.