Home pagePress monitoringCRISPR gene-edited monkeys cloned in China

CRISPR gene-edited monkeys cloned in China

Date: 23.1.2019 

New research out of China has confirmed the birth of five gene-edited monkey clones. Two recently published papers describe how a CRISPR-gene-edited long-tailed macaque has been successfully cloned, demonstrating the first time in the world a gene-edited monkey has been effectively cloned.

Kredit: Muhammad Mahdi Karim / Wikimedia Commons.The scientists first created a donor monkey using the CRISPR gene-editing technique to knock out the expression of a gene known to play a role in regulating the animal's circadian rhythm. It has been suggested that by editing this single gene the monkey would subsequently exhibit a variety of different symptoms, such as anxiety, depression and even schizophrenia-like behavior.

"Disorder of circadian rhythm could lead to many human diseases, including sleep disorders, diabetic mellitus, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases, our BMAL1-knock out monkeys thus could be used to study the disease pathogenesis as well as therapeutic treatments," explains Hung-Chun Chang, senior author on the new study.

The second stage in the research involved identifying a successful and healthy CRISPR-edited specimen and creating a number of identical clones using a method called somatic cell nuclear transfer. The same team demonstrated the efficacy of this cloning technique last year, revealing the world's first successful birth of healthy long-tailed macaque clones.

The idea behind this research is to create gene-edited animals that display certain disease phenotypes allowing for effective medical experimentation. By having the ability to clone those specific animals one can create a number of genetically similar subjects, thus removing the variations in treatment responses that can occur from animal to animal.




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