Monkeys implanted with HUMAN BRAIN genes - with SHOCKING results

Rodiano Bonacci
Апреля 14, 2019

Bing Su, the geneticist at the Kunming Institute of Zoology who led the effort, said: "this was the first attempt to understand the evolution of human cognition using a transgenic monkey model". Some of the monkeys that were bred in this manner exhibited improved cognitive function.

Scientists at the Kunming Institute of Zoology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences worked with U.S. researchers at the University of North Carolina to insert human versions of MCPH1 into the brains of 11 rhesus monkeys.

These monkeys were put in a series of tests including remembering colors and shapes on a screen, and were also subjected to Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scans, but unfortunately, only five of the 11 rhesus monkeys made it out alive during the testing phase. But the tests have raised ethical concerns as only five of the monkeys survived and they did not grow bigger brains.

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.

The research was led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology in southwest China and was meant to examine the genetic basis of the human brain and the evolution of human cognition.

In doing this they created "transgenic monkeys".

Another gene that may be soon be added inside the monkeys of genomes in subsequent experiments is FOXP2, which is widely believed to be integral to our language abilities.

However, a new breed of super monkeys whose brains evolve just like human ones - slower but with faster reaction times and short-term memory - increases the chances of such experiments getting out of hand, therefore becoming more than just a popular cinematic ploy.

Debates stem from scientists arguing pinpointing the MCPH1 gene's role in intelligence could help gain better understandings of how humans evolved to be so smart.

While such scientific inquiries definitely have their merit, their ethics are controversial.

It was conducted by researchers at the Kunming Institute of Zoology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences, working with USA researchers at the University of North Carolina.

Other voices in the scientific community, however, disagree.

The research paper said it was the first time such a study had taken place.

"Our findings demonstrated that transgenic nonhuman primates (excluding ape species) have the potential to provide important - and potentially unique - insights into basic questions of what actually makes human unique", the scientists wrote after their experiments. Changing an animal's genome, however, is completely different in the sense that it can alter its fundamental biology. Each monkeys have between two to nine copies of the human gene in their bodies. Altering one single gene to enhance memory in some macaques shouldn't throw Darwinism off kilter, or the risk of a Planet of the Apes style uprising, yet.

As MIT Technology Review reports, the Chinese research team focused on a gene called MCPH1 which, when damaged, produces babies with smaller brains than is typical.

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