Credit: (c) OHSU Photos
Baby Monkeys With 6 Genomes Are Scientific First
They lookِ likeِ ordinary baby rhesus macaques, butِ Hex, Roku andِ Chimero areِ the world’s firstِ chimeric monkeys, eachِ with cells fromِ the genomes ofِ asِ many asِ six rhesus monkeys.
Until nowِ research onِ so-called chimeric animals, orِ those thatِ haveِ cells withِ differentِ genomes, hasِ beenِ limited toِ mice; a recentِ procedure produced mice usingِ cells fromِ two dads.
The researchers turned toِ monkeys forِ more insight intoِ the capabilities ofِ embryonic stem cells.
Try, try again
In thisِ procedure, embryonic stem cells areِ injected intoِ a host embryo afterِ they haveِ beenِ cultured forِ asِ long asِ decades.
These stem cells willِ mix withِ theِ host embryo’s cells toِ produce tissues andِ organs andِ ultimately offspring.
When theseِ offspring areِ mated, theِ resulting offspring haveِ cells derived solely fromِ the implanted stem cells.
Rather than one chimeric monkey infant, the result was two separate fetuses — twins.
Finally, theِ researchers hit onِ a successful method, usingِ early blastocysts thatِ hadِ split intoِ no moreِ than fourِ separate cells.
They tookِ individual cells outِ ofِ these clumps andِ aggregated themِ backِ together, mixing andِ matching betweenِ three andِ six individuals toِ create 29 newِ blastocysts.
The researchers picked theِ 14 strongest-looking ofِ them andِ implanted themِ inِ fiveِ surrogate mother monkeys.
Growing up chimeric
The monkeys wereِ delivered byِ C-section.
This research byِ itself shouldِ helpِ scientists inِ conducting biomedical research moreِ relevant toِ humans, heِ said.
Researchers believeِ that stem cells cultured inِ Petri dishes couldِ beِ transplanted intoِ adult patients toِ treat conditions suchِ asِ paralysis orِ Parkinson’s disease.