Chinese scientists clone gene-edited monkeys to aid research for sleeping disorder

China clones gene-edited monkeys to understand human disease like sleeping disorder, Alzheimer, depression

Chinese scientists have made clones of a gene-edited macaque to aid research of circadian rhythm disorders that are linked to sleep problems, depression and Alzheimer’s disease, the official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday.

China clones gene-edited monkeys. Image: Reuters

China clones gene-edited monkeys. Image: Reuters

It was the first time multiple clones had been made from a gene-edited monkey for biomedical research, the agency said. The clones were born at the Institute of Neuroscience at the China Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.

A gene-edited monkey most prone to the disorder was selected as a donor, and its fibroblasts were used to make five cloned monkeys, Xinhua said, citing National Science Review, a Chinese journal.

The official China Daily said the clones would pave the way for more research into such problems in humans, which have become a major mental health concern.

The cloned monkeys already show signs of “negative behavior”, including sleep disorders, as well as elevated levels of anxiety and “schizophrenia-like behaviors”, the paper added.

Xinhua said the program, supervised by the institute’s ethics panel, was in line with international ethical standards for animal research.

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