Scientists transplanted human gene for monkeys and they became smarter

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MonkeysFilms like “Rise of the Planet of the Apes” boldly hint how dangerous genetic experiments with animals and human DNA can be.

But one thing is fantasy, and another is real science, thought Chinese scientists and conducted their experiments, transplanting the human RCP gene MCPH1 for monkeys.

This gene is supposed to play a very important role in the development of the human brain, and those who have this gene working as it should be, can better take tests for memory and reaction. And those who have mutations in this gene are born with microcephaly (diminished brain).

The experiment was conducted by researchers from the Kunming Institute of Zoology and the Academy of Chinese Sciences in collaboration with American scientists from the University of North Carolina. In total, the experiment involved 11 rhesus monkeys (8 of the first generation and 3 of the second generation). At a very early stage of embryo development, the human MCPH1 gene was introduced into their DNA.

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When the monkeys have grown up, their behavior and reactions during the tests are compared with the similar ones in the control group of rhesus monkeys. It turned out that transgenic monkeys short-term memory was better developed, and the reaction was faster.

It is curious that in this case the brains of the experimental monkeys did not increase in size in relation to the macaque brains of the control group.

The monkey experiment report was published last month in the Beijing scientific journal National Science Review. It was accepted ambiguously by other scientists and the debate on scientific ethics began again.

“You just go to what happened in the movie Planet of the Apes,” says Jacqueline Glover of the University of Colorado.

“You humanize them and then harm them. Where could they live and what would they do next? Do not create creatures if you cannot give them meaningful life in any context. “