China clones five gene-edited monkeys

The five macaques have been showing signs of depression

It was nearly exactly one year ago today that Chinese scientists revealed that they had successfully cloned a monkey, resulting in the live births of two genetically identical babies.

Macaques are chiefly Asian monkeys typically having a sturdy build and including some short-tailed or tailless forms.

Monkeys that have been genetically edited to have problems with its circadian system can be used in biomedicine to investigate a number of human disorders, including diabetes, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, study author Hung-Chun Chang said.

Liu Zhen, a researcher of the Institute of Neuroscience of Chinese Academy of Sciences, introduces relative research achievements about the cloned monkeys.

The cloned monkeys, closer to humans in terms of activity routines, brain structure and metabolic rate, make better models for research on disease pathogenesis and potential therapeutic treatments, according to the team from Institute of Neuroscience of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.

The present work succeeded in using fibroblasts from a young adult gene-edited donor monkey with disease phenotypes.

Researchers used a cloning technique known as somatic cell nuclear transfer to produce the five macaques, the same method they used to generate the first two cloned monkeys this time previous year.

As per Xinhua, though the program was in line with global ethical standards for animal research, some scientists have termed the program to be "monstrous".

There is oft-used Chinese idiom that describes how every the Chinese government, from the dynasties to the Communist Party, doles out punishment to ward off subsequent offenders: Kill the chicken to scare the monkey.

More importantly, they all carry a copy of one specific gene - a version of BMAL1 that had been altered in the donor using CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology. The step show that China's cloning program is pre-Mature.

China is at present the only countrythat has the technology to clone a primate, announcing the birth of two healthy cloned monkeys previous year.

So far, the cloned monkeys have started showing "negative behavior" and high anxiety levels.

The monkeys were cloned using the same technique that produced Dolly the Sheep in 1996.

ION, CAS is following strict global guidelines for animal research.

Chinese investigators have determined that the doctor behind the reported birth of two babies whose genes had been edited in hopes of making them resistant to the AIDS virus acted on his own and will be punished for any violations of the law, a state media report said Monday.

"The use of primates in scientific research and testing is a matter of extreme concern to the animal protection community and to members of the public around the world", said Dr Penny Hawkins, RSPCA's Head of Research Animals told The Sun.

Co-author Professor Mu-ming Poo, who directs the Institute of Neuroscience and helped to supervise the project, said: 'This work required coordinated efforts of many laboratories, and serves as a clear example of the efficient team work that is highly emphasised by CAS.



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