In a bid to learn more about the way in which the human house developed, scientists in China have added a human source to the genome of rhesus clicks. It is called MC HP 1 or microcephalin, and it is involved in regulating the fetal growth of the brain.
The add-on shows that the monkeys were smartered. The brain of transgenic animals developed longer – more than human children – and they also had better special skills, and more responses, compared to their unmodified peers.
"This was the first visit to understanding the evolution of human work with a transgenic monkey model," Bing Su of the Kunming Institute of Zoology told Technology Review.
Transgenic organisms are nothing new. The first was published in 1974 when & # 39; t Staphylococcus aureus Genes were shut down Escherichia coli. The first transgenic monkey, introduced with jellyfish genes, was made in 2001.
Human genes are added to monkeys to study disease and conditions, such as autism, and mice have been altered with human cognities, including microcephalin alteration. But the researchers believe this is the first time researchers use transgenic monkeys to see in the genetic origin of the human family.
It is, say, scientists, an experiment with relevant ethical implications.
The team exposed the monkey embryos to a virus that is a human microcephalin. These created 11 transgenic resuscitals that bring it human genes, but only five of them survived.
"Our findings have shown that transgenic non-human primates (except monkeys) have the potential for important – and potentially unique – insights into basic questions of what people uniquely enjoy, and also in differences and clinically relevant phenotypes," they wrote. researchers in their paper.
But not all agree. A security refers a paper 2010 clearly the whole concept of editing apes with human-healing genes (though not necessarily dolls), which is called such potentially "ethically unacceptable" studies by the high impact of animals .
But the use of & # 39; monkeys can take a step in & # 39; be the road.
"The use of transgenic monkeys to link mouths to brain evolution is a very risky way to take," James Sikela claims from & # 39; a University of Colorado, who wrote the paper 2010, Technology Review.
"It is a classic slippery slope problem and one that & # 39; t expect we can count if this type of research persists."
In addition, one of the researchers of this latest study, compost scientist Martin Styner, is from & # 39; A University of North Carolina, indicated that there were aspects of the study that were not allowed in a country with stricter regulations, such as the USA. In fact, the survey did not find a publisher in the West.
Chinese genetic research years have been proven since the work of geneticist He Jiankui since the "Christmas tree of human twins" has been modified. His American collaboration, Michael Deem of Rice University, has also come under fire.
It is difficult to know whether our new research would receive the same formula it would not underneath, but the genetic did not cause it to slam. He is already working on making new transgenic monkeys.
However, Styner said he took his name from the paper.
"Now we've just made this animal different than it should be. If we do experiments, we need to have a good understanding of what we are trying to learn, to help society, and that is not the case here" he said.
"They try to understand the brain development, and I don't think they are coming there."
The research was published in National Science Review.