It’s Stuff Like This That Will Cause the Rise of the Apes
Scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center have created the world’s first chimeric monkeys. Three healthy rhesus monkeys were born recently, each created by “gluing” embryonic stem cells from several different genome types together. The cells didn’t fuse —as scientists predicted would happen, based on chimeric mice experiments— but instead worked together to form a normal, healthy monkey fetus.
The experiment provides valuable insight into the limitations of stem cell therapy, especially methods that could eventually be used on humans. Even so, the “success” of producing genetically-altered monkeys sets a dangerous precedent for the human race’s stance on bioethics. Should we continue playing God by creating hybrid monkeys? Altering the genes of mice is one thing, but messing with our closest relatives might not be the best idea.
If the primates do rise up, I hope they like reading about themselves on Tumblr. I really want to make it clear that I’m against manipulating and creating hybrid primates, and I’m totally on their side. Go Team Primate.