This type of experiment has also raised some ethical concerns, however, Su Bing, one of the lead researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences' Kunming Institute of Zoology, told CNN that the experiment was reviewed by the school's ethics board and it followed worldwide animal rights standards, as well as Chinese and global best scientific practices.
These transgenic nonhuman primates may have potential to provide insight into basic questions of what makes humans unique, and in future studies maybe even provide insight into neurodegenerative and social behavior disorders hard to study using other means.
The University of Alberta's Timothy Caulfield has warned that the more we humanize animals, the more it raises profoundly sticky moral questions, including the remote but not impossible risk animals could somehow develop human consciousness.
The monkeys were later tested in order to establish the impact the human gene had on the brain development and scientists found that, while the monkey's brains were not larger than normal, they had improved memory and were able to better process certain abilities.
Out of which only five survived the experiment, according to the study published in Beijing-based National Science Review.
"Su goes on to say in regards to the monkeys becoming more than they are ".impossible by introducing only a few human genes." . However, the primates performed better when it came to short-term memory tests.
Caesar is real
The journal MIT Technology Review cited James Sikela, a geneticist of primates at the University of Colorado, saying: "the use of transgenic monkeys to study human genes linked to brain evolution is a very risky road to take".
Ethical concerns have been raised about the experiment. "Where would they live and what would they do?" Everything whether it be good, bad, or good intentions gone wrong has an end, but more importantly it also has a genesis, and then there's this thing called evolution which has now been doubly altered to create something new. "Do not create a being that can't have a meaningful life in any context", Glover said.
Larry Baum, who is a researcher at Hong Kong University's Centre for Genomic Sciences, meanwhile, downplays the comparison made of the study to the science fiction franchise. This study changed a few of those in just one of about 20,000 genes. "When we do experiments, we have to have a good understanding of what we are trying to learn, to help society, and that is not the case here". "That's millions of individual DNA bases differing between humans and monkeys", he said. They were replicated from one single animal, which was genetically engineered to have sleep disorders.
Another Chinese researcher - the disgraced Professor He Jiankui - faced global condemnation after he told the world he had created the first gene-edited babies in November 2018.
All of the clones showed signs of mental health issues the likes of depression, anxiety and schizophrenia.
According to the researchers, the aim of the study is to probe the fundamental biology that enabled humans to develop our unique brand of intelligence.
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