Monday, January 9, 2012

Chimeric Monkeys, Mice and Stem Cells

Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon National Primate Research Center has created chimeric rhesus monkeys, each of whose bodies combines tissues with up to six different genetic identities. The chimera creation was part of research which showed that--unlike in the case of mice--chimeras cannot be formed by injecting rhesus embryonic stem cells into blastocysts. Chimera formation was instead achieved by aggregating several four-cell embryos (a result never achieved in mice). The research hints at some important limitations of using mouse embryonic stem cell models to predict experience in primates, including humans.

The Onion has gathered some on-the-street comments on the research, including from Mr. Bobo.

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