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Editorials

Despite criticism, scientist to pursue experimenting with putting human gene in monkey

A team of Chinese scientists recently inserted human brain gene into monkeys that made them smarter and more human-
Published April 13, 2019 Updated April 16, 2019

A team of Chinese scientists recently inserted human brain gene into monkeys that made them smarter and more human-like, however, the research received a lot of criticism. One of the scientists has now defended their work saying that they plan to do similar research in future.

Chinese scientists made headlines when they put a human gene into monkey’s DNA, aiming to make them more smart. However, it was met by backlash where people even called the work as reckless and a ‘very risky road to take’.

One of those scientists Su Bing from Chinese Academy of Sciences recently told CNN that the university’s ethics board approved the plan to give human genes to monkeys. Also, it followed best practices laid out by China as well as the international scientific community.

Scientists put human gene into monkeys to make them smarter, human-like

“In the long run, such basic research will also provide valuable information for the analysis of the etiology and treatment of human brain diseases (such as autism) caused by abnormal brain development,” he told CNN.

Bing claimed that their work even met international animal rights standards and he sees a lot of potential benefits of their research. He claimed that he has intentions to pursue similar research in the future as well.

In MIT Technology Review, a bioethicist Jacqueline Glover compared the experiment to the sci-fi movie ‘Planet of the Apes’ that was focused on super-intelligent primates overthrowing humans. “To humanize them is to cause harm. Where would they live and what would they do? Do not create a being that can’t have a meaningful life in any context.”

Nevertheless, Bing accused these scientists of hypocrisy and recklessness saying that the project was being unfairly judged by Chinese research ‘stereotypes’.

“Exploring the genetic mechanism of human brain evolution is a major issue in the natural sciences,” he added, “and we will continue our exploration.”

Copyright Business Recorder, 2019

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