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China Clones Gene-edited Monkeys.

RESEARCHERS FROM THE Institute of Neuroscience of Chinese Academy of Sciences in Shanghai, China, have recently announced the birth of five gene-edited macaque monkey clones, the first step towards the development of customized uniformly genetic, gene edited nonhuman primate models for use in biomedical research.

The advancement was announced in two articles published in the journal National Science Review.

Prior to the cloning process, researchers knocked out the expression of the BMAL1 gene in a donor monkey, causing a sleep disorder, using the gene editing tool CRISPR/Cas9.

The monkeys were cloned using somatic cell nuclear transfer, the same technique used to generate the first two cloned monkeys, Zhong Zhong and Hua Hua, in 2018. In the earlier research, the clones were generated by using fibroblasts from an aborted fetus, rather than from a young donor monkey with disease phenotype.

The cloned monkeys all displayed symptoms associated with sleep disorders, including depression, anxiety and behaviors linked to schizophrenia. "Without the interference of genetic background, a much smaller number of cloned monkeys carrying disease phenotypes may be sufficient for pre-clinical tests of the efficacy of therapeutics," said study author Mu-ming Poo. The use of nonhuman primates in scientific research, cloning and gene editing is controversial. The researchers were quick to caution that the clones would not be used as a precursor to human cloning, which has serious ethical implications.

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Title Annotation:NEWS&NOTES
Publication:Laboratory Equipment
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Apr 1, 2019
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