Feeds

World's first mixed-embryo rhesus monkeys born in US

Normal, healthy chimeric primates created during stem cell research

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Genetic researchers have created the world's first chimeric monkeys, primates who were created from a combination of cells from separate rhesus monkey embryos.

Chimeric monkeys Roku and Hex

Chimeric monkeys Roku and Hex. Credit: OHSU

The healthy monkeys were born after the boffins basically glued together the stem cells from different embryos and then implanted these mixed embryos.

"The cells never fuse, but they stay together and work together to form tissues and organs," said Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU).

"This is an important development – not because anyone would develop human chimeras – but because it points out a key distinction between species and between different kind of stem cells that will impact our understanding of stem cells and their future potential in regenerative medicine.

"Stem cell therapies hold great promise for replacing damaged nerve cells in those who have been paralysed due to a spinal cord injury or for example, in replacing dopamine-producing cells in Parkinson's patients who lose these brain cells resulting in disease," he explained.

Before now, scientists have only been able to create chimeras from mice by introducing stem cells into an embryo, but this method failed when attempting to create chimeric monkeys.

With rodents, both totipotent cells ("master" cells, which come from the early embryo and can divide and produce cells in the placenta or the organism) and pluripotent cells (which come later and can only form the body) can be used to form chimeras.

But in primates, only totipotent cells can be used. This is an important discovery that affects scientists' understanding of stem cells' capabilities.

"As we move stem cell therapies from the lab to clinics and from the mouse to humans, we need to understand what these cells do and what they can't do and also how cell function can differ in species," Mitalipov said.

The research has been published in this month's Cell. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
prev story

Whitepapers

A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.