Chimera Monkey Born
January 9, 2012 by staff
Scientists have long been able to create “knockout” mice with certain genes deleted in order to study a host of ailments and remedies, including obesity, heart disease, anxiety, diabetes and Parkinson’s disease.
Attempts to do the same with more complicated primates have failed in the past, but scientists in the western US state of Oregon succeeded by altering the method used to make mice.
The breakthrough came when they mixed cells together from very early stage rhesus monkey embryos, in a state known as totipotent, when they are able to give rise to a whole animal as well as the placenta and other life-sustaining tissues.
“Knock-out” mice are typically made by introducing embryonic stem cells that have been cultured in a lab dish into a mouse embryo, but that method failed in monkeys.
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