Re: primate--false fix?

From: Harvey Newstrom (
Date: Fri Jan 12 2001 - 13:23:30 MST

John Marlow <> wrote,
>Q: Do you think it possible that when these animals
>are genetically altered to come down with human
>diseases, and genetic fixes for those diseases are
>developed--that the fixes will not work in humans
>because the process of artificially altering the
>animals itself introduces factors which are (or are
>not) present in the "naturally-occurring" human

I think this is very possible. This is one of the main problems with
using animals for research. Animals often don't react the same way
to diseases as humans do. In fact, the whole purpose to the above
research is to develop monkeys that can get AIDS,breast cancer,
alzheimers and other diseases. Normally, they don't get these
diseases. Even when infected with the AIDS virus, monkeys don't get
the disease. Even if we slip in a few genes to make them react to
the disease like humans, we still don't know if they will react to
the treatment like humans. This is a major question mark for this
kind of research.

I would predict that this approach will only be useful for genetic
engineering at testing ways to turn the specific genes back off.
Testing drugs on the monkeys for later use with humans would seem to
be a less direct approach, more aimed at treatment rather than

(I wanna be a glow-monkey!)

Harvey Newstrom <>

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