Thursday, January 05, 2012

'Chimera' Monkeys Created In Lab by Combining Several Embryos Into One

Roku and Hex from OHSU News on Vimeo.

The world's first monkeys to be created from the embryos of several individuals have been born at a US research centre.

Scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Centre produced the animals, known as chimeras, by sticking together between three and six rhesus monkey embryos in the early stages of their development.

Three animals were born at the laboratory, a singleton and twins, and were said to be healthy, with no apparent birth defects following the controversial technique.

The chimeras have tissues and organs made up of cells that come from each of the contributing embryos. The mixtures of cells carried up to six distinct genomes.

"The cells never fuse, but they stay together and work together to form tissues and organs," said Shoukhrat Mitalipov, who led the research. "The possibilities for science are enormous."

Scientists named the singleton Chimero, and the twins Roku and Hex, meaning six in Japanese and Greek. Hex was born after merging six individual embryos, according to a report in the journal Cell. "To our knowledge, these infants are the world's first primate chimeras," the authors write.


Full story here.
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