"Researchers hope they now can introduce other genes
in rhesus monkeys
could trigger a host of human diseases such as
cancer or HIV..."
Ah yes; what a noble day for science--and the rhesus
--- Spudboy100@aol.com wrote: > Scientists Create First Genetically Modified Primate > Baby Rhesus Monkey, Nicknamed ANDi, Carries Extra > DNA > > By WILLIAM McCALL > .c The Associated Press > > PORTLAND, Ore. (Jan. 11) - Researchers have created > the world's first > genetically modified primate, a baby rhesus monkey > whose name - ANDi - stands > for ''inserted DNA'' spelled backward. > > Born in October, the male monkey carries a tiny > extra bit of DNA in a gene > introduced as a marker that can be seen under a > microscope because it glows > green, researchers at Oregon Health Sciences > University said. > > ANDi's creation was described in the Friday issue of > the journal Science. > > Researchers hope they now can introduce other genes > in rhesus monkeys that > could trigger a host of human diseases such as > Alzheimer's, diabetes, breast > cancer or HIV, allowing experiments to block them at > the genetic level. > > The technique for inserting the gene has been used > for more than a quarter > century in mice, but comparing a mouse to a human > being has limits, said Dr. > Gerald Schatten. He is leading the research at the > university's Oregon > Regional Primate Center. > > Because monkeys are close genetic cousins to humans, > they may give scientists > a better picture of how human disease develops, he > said. > > ''I think we're at an extraordinary moment in the > history of humans,'' > Schatten said Wednesday. > > Others were quick to condemn the research. > > Dr. Ray Greek, spokesman for the Physicians > Committee for Responsible > Medicine, said the disease research can be already > done at the cellular level. > > ''I think it's going to get them a lot of press and > will eventually translate > into getting OHSU a lot of money,'' Greek said. > > ''But 20 years from now, will your children be safer > from cancer, heart > disease, etc., as a result of this? The odds are > astronomically against it.'' > > Dr. Phyllis Leppert at the National Institutes of > Health, which funded the > research, defended the monkey gene modification. > > She said the NIH and scientists have been dealing > with genetic research > issues for decades, and Schatten - like other > scientists who work with > primates - are always trying to balance the use of > animals with the prospect > of curing a disease. > > ''All of this research is being done very carefully > with all of the > scientific community giving him input,'' Leppert > said. > > Schatten said the modification should help > researchers find cures for human > diseases faster, eventually ending the need to use > animals. > > He also said the technique will limit the number of > monkeys needed because > test animals can be genetically designed, > eliminating the need to create a > large pool of test animals in hopes that one will > have the desired > characteristics. > > ''Researchers around the world believe that a lot of > diseases like cancers, > like mental illnesses, like diabetes and other > degenerative diseases could > actually be cured, and cured within just a few > years,'' Schatten said. > > ''I don't think any of us would want to make > primates sick unless it would > truly accelerate the day that diseases can be > eradicated.'' > > A year ago, Schatten reported the first monkey > successfully cloned by embryo > splitting. That monkey is named Tetra. ANDi and his > surrogate mother, as well > as Tetra, remain healthy, Schatten said. > > ANDi received an extra gene while he was still an > unfertilized egg. > > Schatten, lead author Anthony W.S. Chan and other > researchers modified and > then fertilized more than 200 rhesus monkey eggs. > Forty embryos were > produced, and resulted in five pregnancies and three > live births. Of the > three baby monkeys, only ANDi proved to have the > modified genes. > > Greek, an author and physician, remained skeptical. > > ''We have been doing to mice for 20 to 30 years what > they have done with > ANDi,'' he said, ''and we have been singularly > unsuccessful, especially in > cancer research.'' > > Terry Lomax, an Oregon State University plant > geneticist who has dealt with > similar issues over genetically modified food, said > the issue is going to > keep getting more attention. > > ''But I think people will be a little more fearful > because monkeys are a > little closer to home,'' she said. ''That's why it's > good to have a public > dialogue.'' > > AP-NY-01-11-01 1027EST > > Copyright 2001 The Associated Press. The information > contained in the AP news > report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or > otherwise distributed > without the prior written authority of The > Associated Press. All active > hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
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