Monday, June 01, 2009

Genetically modified monkeys give birth to designer babies



Controversial work paves way for scientists to breed primates that are born with the genetic faults responsible for human conditions such as Parkinson's and motor neurone disease

The skin on the soles of the GM marmosets glows green under ultraviolet light. Some of the monkeys passed on the trait to their offspring.

Genetically modified monkeys that glow in ultraviolet light and pass the trait on to their young have been created by scientists in Japan in controversial research that "raises the stakes" over animals rights.

The work paves the way for scientists to breed large populations of primates with genetic faults responsible for incurable human conditions, but could also spark an ethical backlash for introducing harmful genes into the primate population.

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