New Delhi: Chinese scientists have successfully developed a chimera monkey, exhibiting unique traits such as green eyes and glowing fingertips. CNN reports that this primate was developed through an experimental method utilizing two sets of DNA, aiming to contribute to medical research and species conservation. However, the lab-born monkey’s lifespan lasted only 10 days before it was euthanized, as per the report. The detailed research, providing insights into the creation process of this monkey, has been published in the journal Cell.
The primate was created by combining the stem cells of two genetically distinct fertilized eggs from the same monkey species, specifically a long-tailed macaque.
It was the world’s first live birth of a chimeric, or mixed, monkey incorporating stem cells, as reported by researchers.
“It is encouraging that our live birth monkey chimera had a big contribution (of stem cells) to the brain, suggesting that indeed this approach should be valuable for modeling neurodegenerative diseases,” quoted the study co-author Miguel Esteban, who serves as the principal investigator at the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health.
“Monkey chimeras also have potential enormous value for species conservation if they could be achieved between two types of nonhuman primate species, one of which is endangered. If there is contribution of the donor cells from the endangered species to the germ line, one could envisage that through breeding animals of these species could be produced,” he added.
The animal displayed a fluctuating yet elevated proportion of cells derived from the stem cells.
As per the researchers, the presence of donated stem cells ranged from a minimum of 21 percent to a maximum of 92 percent, with the highest percentage observed in brain tissues, as indicated by Science Alert.
The creation of chimeric mice originated in the 1960s and has since been commonly used in biomedical research.