Magazine article Science News

First Gene-Altered Primate Beats the Odds

Magazine article Science News

First Gene-Altered Primate Beats the Odds

Article excerpt

Oregon researchers' triumph in slipping a bit of another creature's genome into a monkey has proved that the feat's possible, but even the bioengineers themselves caution that their technique may not be the best one for future monkey business.

The Oregon Regional Primate Research Center in Beaverton ignited a news frenzy last week with a 3-month-old rhesus monkey's debut as the world's first genetically engineered primate.

Named ANDi, a backward homage to "inserted DNA," the little fellow looks and behaves like his plain-gene playmates. Yet tissue analysis confirms that ANDi carries a jellyfish gene laboriously inserted by scientists, Anthony W.S. Chan, Gerald Schatten, and their colleagues report in the Jan. 14 SCIENCE.

The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development in Bethesda, Md., one of the funders of the project, greeted the success enthusiastically. The institute's interest, explains its director, Duane Alexander, comes from hopes of putting medically important genes into primates to create new models for research on human diseases. Getting a gene into a primate for the first time, regardless of what gene it is, "breaks a technical barrier," Alexander notes.

To deliver the foreign gene, the ANDi team turned to a crippled retrovirus that can insert DNA without causing infection. Schatten says the group chose the method because, despite drawbacks, it has a good record for incorporating foreign genes into a target's genome, an advantage in animals less prolific than mice. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.