Wednesday, May 27, 2009
New and hot: Transgenic monkeys
Scientists in Japan have infused transgenic monkeys with a gene to make their feet glow green under UV light, and one of these marmosets has successfully passed the gene on to its offspring. The transgenic monkeys were created by inserting the genes into viruses and injecting them into embryos. This is a difficult process, so the successful passing along to offspring would mean the ability to more easily mass-produce transgenic animals.
Aside from the coolness of passing along a gene that makes feet glow green, this has huge implications for the development of animal models for the study of human conditions, including infectious diseases, immunological diseases, and neurological diseases.
This success should be tempered by the memories of similar attempts that have failed, though, like one last year for Huntington's disease. Nevertheless, this shows promise, and will no doubt stir up debate.
Here are a couple of the articles I read, but others should be easy to find: