Chinese scientists add human brain genes into monkeys
Researchers from China have experimented with adding the human gene MCPH 1 into monkeys.
BEIJING — Researchers from China have inserted human brain genes into monkeys, according to a new study published in the National Science Review.
The scientists did this by injecting viruses with the human gene MCPH 1, a gene related to brain development and brain evolution, into the embryos of eleven monkeys. They then let the monkeys grow before further testing.
Out of the eleven that were injected, only five survived.
According to MIT Technology Review, the researchers found that the modified monkeys did better on memory tests involving colors and block pictures.
They also noted the modified monkeys' brains took longer to develop, similar to human babies.
None of the monkeys developed abnormally large brains.
The Chinese scientists claim the modified monkeys have the potential to provide insight into understanding unique human traits.
However, others such as James Sikela, from the University of Colorado who wasn't involved with the study, told MIT Technology Review, "the use of transgenic monkeys to study human genes linked to brain evolution is a very risky road to take."
Adding that it could soon lead to extreme modifications.
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