GENETICALLY ENGINEERED MONKEY

GLOWS IN THE DARK??

Oregon researchers have created the first genetically modified monkey. ANDi, a playful, coffee-colored rhesus monkey born on October 2nd 2000, has been engineered to carry a gene from another species. The work demonstrates that a foreign gene can be delivered and inserted into a primate chromosome. The researchers anticipate that gene insertions in the monkey will lead to primate models of human diseases—like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, heart disease and obesity—that will offer a more robust testing ground for new drugs, gene therapy and modified stem cells.

ANDi (DNA inserted spelled backward)

is the first transgenic monkey.

“Our ultimate goal is to produce human disease models. Primates show human pathology better than mice, which, in many cases, are the only systems we have for modeling human diseases,” says Anthony Chan, of the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center, in Beaverton. The report is published in this week’s issue of Science.

Chan’s goal was to show that a foreign gene can be inserted into a monkey’s chromosome and produce a functional protein. The GFP gene was chosen because the protein it produces emits a fluorescent green glow that can easily be seen through a microscope. Eventually scientists want to insert human disease genes and study disease progression in monkeys, says Chan.

Tissue samples taken from ANDi’s cheek, hair, umbilical cord and placenta confirm that the cells contain the GFP gene and corresponding mRNA; the molecule that bridges the gap between DNA and protein. However, when the tissue was examined under the microscope, no green protein could be seen.

“Maybe the quantity of protein is too small to be seen or maybe the mRNA is not being translated,” says Chan.

The team will continue to monitor ANDi for GFP;

Some transgenic animals do not produce any foreign protein until after the first year.


(LEFT)Virus particles carrying the GFP gene are injected into the unfertilized egg. The gene (white) is released from the virus and incorporated into the chromosome. (RIGHT)About 6 hours after introducing the virus scientists artificially fertilize the egg by injecting a sperm from a male rhesus. The fertilized egg then begins to grow and divide. Two to three days later when the egg has divided twice and become a four-celled embryo it is implanted into a surrogate mother.

  • Introducing ANDi: The first genetically modified monkey
    Oregon researchers have created the first genetically modified monkey. ANDi, a playful, coffee-colored rhesus monkey born on October 2nd 2000, …
    www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles/01_01/ANDi.shtml

  • Sourced and published by Henry Sapiecha 29th May 2009
  • yellow-black-line

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