Thursday, October 27, 2011

Genetically-Modified Monkey Created

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In a USA Today Science article entitled, “Genetically-Modified Monkey Created,” writer Steve Sternberg reports that scientists have created the world’s first mutant monkey. Although this article is dated back to January 11, 001, this information is a bit surprising to me. I have chosen this article for this reason. The world of genetics never ceases to amaze me. From Mendel’s work with peas to sheep cloning, I’ve always been fascinated with what science will produce next.

The rhesus monkey created by the scientists at the Oregon Regional Primate Research Center is name ANDi, short for “inserted DNA” spelled backwards. The most interesting thing about ANDi is that he has an extra gene that glows green when seen under a microscope. The scientists created ANDi to study human diseases and possibly find a cure. However, I’m not sure how implanting an extra gene into a primate would lead researchers to curing certain diseases.

Creating ANDi was no easy task. Two hundred twenty four eggs were fertilized but there were only 40 embryos generated. The embryos were introduced into twenty surrogates and only five got pregnant. Out of these pregnancies, only three resulted in the birth of healthy males, with only one [ANDi] showing the marker gene.

As in everything, there were people who were pessimistic about the research. Some people felt that the inserted gene would disrupt the monkey’s natural way of function. They also felt that it might not even mimic human diseases. On the other hand, there were people who supported the study. Take John Gordon, who in 180 created the first genetically engineered mouse, for example. He stated that, “Primates could model certain diseases for which no other model is suitable….” He says that using altered monkeys as opposed to mice can help with Alzheimer’s because researchers are able to study the monkey’s cognitive problems.

Custom Essays on Genetically-Modified Monkey Created

I think that using a monkey to test diseases is ridiculous. I’m very against animal testing for the benefit of the human race. I feel that animals are god created beings just as we are. Just because we are higher in the food chain, we do not have the right to do as we please with anything below us. I think that it’s highly immoral and that it should stop. I feel really bad for the unsuccessful fertilizations where the monkeys didn’t make it into the world. There might have been deformalities where the ones that did born may be suffering such as missing limbs or lack of pigmentation. I think that scientists shouldn’t play God with it’s creatures.

I felt that this article is very informative and interesting. To be able to create a mutant creature seems almost impossible yet, scientists have been able to do so. Who knows what science will produce next?

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