The Chinese scientists are successful in cloning the genetically altered primates in the labs. The experiment was carried out in the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Neuroscience in Shanghai and the five primates born today making it a successful experiment. The experiment carried out with the genes of macaques monkeys, which are the oldest species of the monkeys on the planet. Before cloning the primates, the scientists have broken the regulatory genes, and that’s what makes it as the exciting thing about this experiment.
According to the scientists, cloning the altered genes is a good thing for medical science as it may provide better insights for medical testing. Instead of testing the medicines by genetically modifying or cloning the humans, it is better to use the cloned primates for the experiment. The genes were extracted from the fibroblast sample taken from the donor monkey, and all of the five baby macaques share the same altered gene. All of the baby macaques have the gene BMAL1, which was changed using the technique called CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology. Modifying the genes in the fish, mice and the insects is pretty standard for scientists. But this is the first time someone has altered the genes and cloned a primate which was not possible before.
This is not the first achievement for the Chinese scientists. Last year, the scientists announced that they are successful in reproducing the two long-tail macaques using the somatic cell nucleus transfer. The somatic cell nucleus transfer technology was used in 1995 to clone Dolly the Sheep, which was the first successful clone of any animal in human history. The experiment was carried on the 65 surrogate mother monkeys, out of which only 16 got pregnant, and finally, five gave birth to these Macaques cloned babies.