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First monkeys with custom genetic mutations could revolutionize human disease research


Mice could slowly be replaced with monkeys as the prime animal subjects for human illness research. The team from Model Animal Research Center of Nanjing University led by geneticist Xingxu Huang first targeted three specific genes in a monkey cell line in the experiment, and were able to disrupt them about 10 to 25 percent of the time. They then targeted genes in 180 single-cell monkey embryos, and implanted 83 of them in living mothers. It was not an easy task, but the newborn twin female primates are a hopeful first step toward recreating human diseases in monkeys.

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