Thursday, January 5, 2012

World's First Mixed-Embryo Monkey Born

Welcome to the brave new world of mix and max creatures.

http://news.yahoo.com/first-genetically-modified-monkeys-born-us-191646942.html

"US researchers said Thursday they have created the world's first mixed-embryo monkeys by merging cells from up to six different embryos, in what could be a big advance for medical research.

Until now, rodents have been the primary creatures used to make chimeras, a lab animal produced by combining two or more fertilized eggs or early embryos together.
Scientists have long been able to create "knock-out" 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 create melded primates have failed in the past, but scientists in the western 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.
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