Research

Chinese scientists create five gene-edited monkey clones to understand human diseases

Chinese scientists create five gene-edited monkey clones to understand human diseases

The announcement of the monkey editing and cloning follows a global controversy over a secret experiment by a Chinese scientist that lead to the world's first gene-edited baby.

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

The actions of a Chinese scientist at the centre of China's "genetically edited babies" scandal seriously violated ethical principles and scientific integrity, as well as breached relevant Chinese regulations, according to a report by state-run news portal Xinhua.

Researchers knocked out BMAL1 - a critical transcription factor for activating circadian rhythms - through gene editing at the embryo stage, then cloned a monkey with the mutation.

"This line of research will help to reduce the amount of macaque monkeys now used in biomedical research around the world". They also used the donor's fibroblasts to clone the five monkeys using somatic cell nuclear transfer.

"He undertook human embryo gene-editing for reproduction, which is clearly prohibited in China", the agency said, quoting the head of the Guangdong provincial investigation team.

After Chinese scientists due to their Gene - and clone-were experiments, highlighted the state Agency that the research programme had been monitored by the ethics Committee of the Institute "in Accordance with worldwide Standards for animal research".

"The achievement heralds a new era in which China can produce batches of standardised monkey clones, which will serve as animal models in the research of the brain's cognitive functions, early diagnoses..."

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Besides being used to study human brain diseases, the models will be used to test medicine effectiveness, which can help reduce the number of animal models used in experiments and lower the cost of medicine development, the report said. He's team edited the genes of embryos from at least two couples.

China is at present the only countrythat has the technology to clone a primate, announcing the birth of two healthy cloned monkeys a year ago. The step show that China's cloning program is pre-Mature.

Researchers said the monkeys demonstrated increased anxiety and depression, reduced sleep time, and even "schizophrenia-like behaviours", according to a pair of papers published by the scientists in the National Science Review. "This line of research will help to reduce the amount of macaque monkeys now used in biomedical research around the world".

The Chinese researchers aim to better the technique used to boost cloning efficiency.

The rogue boffin boasted, during a talk at the Second International Summit on Gene Editing conference in November a year ago, that he had manipulated the genetic blueprints of twin girls while they were mere embryos in a lab.

"This work required coordinated efforts of many laboratories, and serves as a clear example of the efficient teamwork that is highly emphasized by CAS", said Muming Poo, a co-author on both studies, who directs ION and helps to supervise the project.

It is also the same general method used to clone Dolly the sheep more than two decades ago.