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Apr 3, 2019

Chinese, US researchers create monkeys with human-like brain development

Posted by in categories: genetics, neuroscience

A group of monkeys were found to have “human-like” brain development, including faster reactions and better memories, after a joint Sino-American team of researchers spliced a human gene into their genetic makeup.

Researchers from the Kunming Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), and the University of North Carolina in the United States modified the genes of 11 monkeys (eight first-generation and three second-generation) with the addition of copies of the human gene MCPH1.

Microcephalin (MCPH1) is a key factor in our brain development and, in particular, eventual brain size. Mutations in the gene can lead to the developmental disorder microcephaly, which is characterized by a tiny brain.

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