Scientists Insert Human Brain Genes In Monkeys, Bringing Them Closer To Mankind
By Izza Sofia, 15 Apr 2019
Image via Shutterstock
A new study in China sees scientists combining human brain genes with monkeys, resulting in transgenic animals with better problem-solving skills than unmodified primates.
The research, led by Kunming Institute of Zoology, zooms in on a gene called ‘MCPH1’ that when damaged, could lead to the production of babies with relatively smaller brains, according to MIT Technology Review. The human version of ‘MCPH1’ was inserted into the embryos of macaque monkeys, creating 11 specimens. Unfortunately, only five survived as the others died before the scientists could proceed with their tests.
The remaining embryos underwent MRI scans and memory tests, and while their brains retained the shape of unaltered monkeys, they had better results with short-term memory exercises.
The new study has been hit with ethical concerns that relate to the movie, Planet of the Apes. Despite the criticism, the researchers will continue with the brain modification study, and intend to experiment with other genes of the human brain in the future.
Are scientists racing to see if we get to Planet of the Apes or Terminator first?— StellaCorvus (@MewFace18) April 10, 2019
Obviously they think the “Planet of the Apes” scenario is an awesome idea 🙃— Joel (@gacman99) April 10, 2019
Seems like we missed a very important lesson from The Powerpuff Girls. pic.twitter.com/m782PH0lMS— Beth Woods (@LDTbethwoods) April 10, 2019
[via BGR, opening image via Shutterstock]
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