How can someone be so intelligent to create these "things", yet so blind they cannot see the danger?They may look like any other baby monkeys, but these two are scientific breakthroughs.
Roku and Hex are the world’s first chimeric monkeys – created with genetic material from six ‘parents’.
But their birth has caused an ethical storm, with critics accusing scientists of disregarding the welfare of the animals.
Named after the fire-breathing creature in Greek mythology composed of parts of multiple animals, chimeras are organisms made up of cells from two or more genetically distinct sources.
Twins Roku and Hex, whose respective names come from the Japanese and Greek for ‘six’, have been created with genetic material from six monkeys.
Researchers from Oregon Health and Science University in the U.S. extracted cells from six macaque embryos and combined them into a single embryo in a laboratory before implanting it into a surrogate mother monkey.
Three male babies were born using this process – Roku and Hex, who are twins, and Chimero.
However, to reach this stage, dozens more embryos were experimented on, and some surrogate pregnancies were aborted.
While most animals only contain cells in which the genetic material from their two parents has mixed together, the chimeric monkeys’ bodies contain six different types of cell – holding distinct DNA from each biological parent.
Although many mice and some rabbits, rats and farm animals have been born this way, no one has created chimeric monkeys before.
The researchers say that Roku and Hex are healthy and that their birth opens up ‘enormous’ possibilities for science because of monkeys’ intelligence and close biological links to humans.
They say the technique could help us learn more about IVF and contraception, and growing human organs from scratch.
But critics of the study, published in the journal Cell, say that techniques such as these take a high toll on animal welfare and question what sort of experiments the monkeys will be put through in future.
The British Union for the Abolition of Vivisection (BUAV) called the research 'deeply disturbing.'
Dr Jarrod Bailey, the organisation’s scientific consultant, said: 'Using such highly sentient animals in this research raises enormous ethical concerns and imposes a heavy welfare burden, resulting in severe suffering to many animals.'
'As few genetically modified animals show the ‘desired’ characteristics, many will be killed even before any research can take place, while others will die of severe and unrelated malformations caused by the genetic modifications.'
'The monkeys who do exhibit characteristics of ‘interest’ are destined to suffer greatly by their very nature, and via the experiments to which they will be subjected.'
'The cells never fuse, but they stay together and work together to form tissues and organs,' said lead scientist Dr Shoukhrat Mitalipov, from the Oregon National Primate Centre. 'The possibilities for science are enormous.'
Miracle 'chimeric' monkeys made from cells of six animals spark protests | Mail Online
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Last edited by rebelyell; 6th January 2012 at 05:29 PM. Reason: pics
Notice how the American media posts no objection to the dangers.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.
"Knock-out" mice are typically made by introducing embryonic stem cells that have been cultured in a lab dish into a mouse embryo, but that method failed in monkeys.
Primate embryos do not allow cultured embryonic stem cells to become integrated, as mice do.
Combining primate cells apparently requires more potent, early stage cells from a living embryo, said lead researcher Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon National Primate Research Center at Oregon Health and Science University.
The experiment produced three healthy male rhesus monkeys they named Roku, Hex and Chimero, with gene traits from all of the separate embryos used to meld them.
"The cells never fuse, but they stay together and work together to form tissues and organs," said Mitalipov. "The possibilities for science are enormous."
The research is published online ahead of the release of the January 20 issue of the journal Cell.
Scientists use rhesus monkeys to study HIV/AIDS drugs, research vaccines for rabies, smallpox and polio, and to study potential uses for embryonic stem cells. They have also been launched into space on test missions by the US and Russia.
"We cannot model everything in the mouse," Mitalipov said. "If we want to move stem cell therapies from the lab to clinics and from the mouse to humans, we need to understand what these primate cells can and can't do."
Researchers at the same Oregon facility in 2000 created the first genetically modified monkey, ANDi, who was carrying an extra bit of DNA that was inserted while he was an unfertilized egg.
That experiment was described in Science in 2001.
First mixed-embryo monkeys are born in US - Yahoo! News
Haven't they seen The Island of Dr. Moreau?
“Life is hard; it's harder if you're stupid.” -John Wayne
"With age comes the realization of mortality" -Tom Woods
I just post what looks interesting as I'm wandering around the 'net. Credit always to the original scanner(s), capper(s), and or poster(s) of the content that I might put up here B-)
Again with the genetic mods - why?? What is this thing going to turn into if capable of breeding?? What traits will it carry?? Stop f*cking with nature - that stuff will take care of its self - are these guys not familiar with Darwin and his studies
I think you have confused a safe drinking limit with what I like to call 'lunch'
rebelyell (7th January 2012)