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The genes of the human brain were inserted into monkeys

Several researchers do not approve the investigation.

April 12, 2019 at 16:26 CTK

Beijing Chinese scientists have modified the embryos of eleven experimental monkeys to which they implanted a gene considered important for the development of the human brain.

It was tried to study the evolution of human intelligence. The results were published in the National Science Review.

Many scientists do not approve research for ethical reasons, AFP reported.

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Planet of monkeys

The researchers implanted the eleventh version of the human MCPH1 gene, which they believe will play a role in the development of the human brain.

Read also: They created a mouse with two mothers. What does it mean for people?

They found that the brains of these monkeys, as well as the brains of humans, were developing at a slower pace, but animals showed better results in short-term memory tests and had faster responses than wildlife. The differences in the size of the brain were not observed.

Five monkeys of the original eleven survived the stages of the test.

According to researchers, macaques are so genetically distant for humans that it is not necessary to deal with ethical issues. However, some scientists have a different opinion.

"In popular imagination, we simply find ourselves in the" planet of monkeys ", Jacqueline Glover, a bioethics from the University of Colorado, commented on the saga movie Planet of the Apes on the destruction of humanity at the expense of intelligent monkeys.


Trying to make a human monkey is bad.


bioethics Jacqueline Glover

"Trying to make a human monkey is bad. Where will they live and what will they do? It is not possible to create a living being and not allow it to live a meaningful life," he added.

However, Larry Baum, from the University of Hong Kong, has a small explanation for his claim that "the study has only changed one in about 20,000 genes."

However, some scientists are worried that scientists approach the animals at low speeds and research could lead to much more significant genetic modifications in the future, writes MIT Technology Review.

Controverted Chinese

The implantation of human genes in monkeys is the last of several ethical biomedical research and recently carried out by scientists in China.

Read also: A Chinese scientist says he has brought the first genetically modified children to the world

In January of this year, other Chinese scientists announced that they cloned five monkeys that had been genetically altered to be ill and have difficulties sleeping.

The research found that monkeys showed signs of psychological problems that are commonly associated with sleep disorders in humans, that is, depression, anxiety, and behavior related to schizophrenia. The findings of the study should be used to investigate mental illnesses.

Last November, Chinese scientist Che Jiankhoui announced that he had genetically engineered various human embryos from which the twins were born to be resistant to AIDS. The scientist criticized Beijing and the international scientific community. He was subsequently deprived of his university duties, where he worked.

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