Chinese scientists have successfully produced gene-edited monkeys, media reports said.
A group of scientists used gene-edited macaque with circadian rhythm disorders from which multiple gene-edited monkeys have been cloned for biomedical research, Xinhua news agency reported.
The five monkeys were born in Shanghai at the Institute of Neuroscience of Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Scientists said disorders of circadian rhythm are associated with many human diseases, including sleep disorders, depression, diabetes, cancer and neuro-degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s. The monkey models will also be used to test medicine effectiveness.
“Previously, mice and flies were widely used for the research of such diseases, but these animal models differ greatly from human beings in terms of activity routines, brain structure and metabolic rate,” the news agency quoted the scientists.
Monkeys “which are closer to human in physiology, make better models for research on disease pathogenesis and potential therapeutic treatments”.
Scientists Qiang Sun at the institute claimed the research program was “reviewed and supervised” by the institute's ethic committee in accordance with international ethical standards of animal research.
The research team would focus on cloning monkey models with different brain diseases in the future,” said Muming Poo, the director of the institute.