Published: Sun, April 14, 2019
Science | By Michele Flores

Chinese Experiment Creates Super Monkeys With Human Brain Genes

Chinese Experiment Creates Super Monkeys With Human Brain Genes

This type of experiment has also raised some ethical concerns, however, Su Bing, one of the lead researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Kunming Institute of Zoology, told CNN that the experiment was reviewed by the school's ethics board and it followed worldwide animal rights standards, as well as Chinese and global best scientific practices.

The study, which claims to look into the unique evolution of human intelligence, inserted the MCPH1 - a gene which plays a pivotal role in developing the human brain.

Martin Styner of the University of North Carolina who's role in this experiment was limited to training students how to extract brain volume from MRI images says "There are a bunch of aspects of this study that you could not do in the United States, it raised issues about the type of research and whether the animals were properly cared for." . The five surviving monkeys were put through many tests, including MRI brain scans and memory tests.

"Brain size and cognitive skills are the most dramatically changed traits in humans during evolution, and yet the genetic mechanisms underlying these human-specific changes remain elusive", said a report published on March 27 in the China-based journal National Science Review. However, the primates performed better when it came to short-term memory tests.

Members of the scientific community are divided over a recent experiment that involved implanting human genes into monkeys' brains, even though a Chinese researcher is defending the experiment's goal.

"You just go to the Planet of the Apes immediately in the popular imagination", University of Colorado bioethicist, Jacqueline Glover says.

"To humanise them is to cause harm".

Fire breaks out at Coachella after Childish Gambino's set
At 2:28 a.m., the department said that the fire was contained and no injuries were reported, though one trailer was destroyed. Upon arrival, the shower unit was fully involved, near centre of venue. "Mobile shower unit in lot eight storage area".

3 killed as plane crashes into helicopter at Mount Everest airfield
A civil administrator, Narendra Kumar Lama, said the four passengers and a flight attendant on the plane were safe. It is also popular as Lukla is the place where most people begin to climb the Mount Everest Base Camp.

2 in critical condition after shooting outside Melbourne nightclub
The latest incident came after a spate of shootings in Melbourne in March that left five people dead in four separate incidents. Police said that the shooting occurred outside the venue near Little Chapel Street and Malvern Road in Prahran about 3.20am.

She added, "In the wild, macaques live in matrilines, centered around groups of related females with close social ties; they explore their world with intelligence and curiosity". Everything whether it be good, bad, or good intentions gone wrong has an end, but more importantly it also has a genesis, and then there's this thing called evolution which has now been doubly altered to create something new.

Larry Baum, a researcher at Hong Kong University's Centre for Genomic Sciences, was not convinced by this comparison though.

"[There are] millions of individual DNA bases differing between humans and monkeys". This study changed a few of those in just one of about 20,000 genes. "You can decide for yourself whether there is anything to worry about". Critics believe that transgenic experiments on monkeys and apes puts us on a slippery slope where it becomes hard to draw the line of what is acceptable and what is not.

And past year, Chinese researcher He Jiankui shocked the scientific community after revealing that he had successfully gene-edited twin girls born in November to prevent them from contracting HIV. They were replicated from one single animal, which was genetically engineered to have sleep disorders.

All of the clones showed signs of mental health issues the likes of depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.

They said the study was meant to aid research into human psychological problems.

Like this: