For the first time, scientists have modified the DNA of a primate species, whose genetic coding varies from people's by only slightly more than 1 percent. Scientists at Oregon Health Sciences University inserted a variation of a gene, plucked from a fluorescent jellyfish, into the DNA of an unfertilized egg. The egg was then developed into ANDi, which is a backward acronym for "inserted DNA" and scientists expect it should make the monkey's cells glow green, infact under fluorescent light.
By altering the genetic makeup of ANDi, researchers hope they have demonstrated they will be able to introduce into monkeys other genes that cause a host of diseases in people. Such work could provide living laboratories to analyze the effects and possible treatments for diseases like Alzheimer's, breast cancer or diabetes.
A recent article in "Nature" reports the introduction in the genome of a small species of monkey, a gene which, when it is expressed - that the information coded in nucleic acids is translated into corresponding protein, which takes part in complex molecular choreography within the cell -- cause fluorescence!Previously, similar experiments were made in other animals such as mice or pigs. But now we are dealing with a body much closer to ours.
Fluorescent monkeys kept the first page in many daily papers as the "science"story of the week. Mainly because it's not a genetic modification of an isolated individual but a modification which is passing to descendants. And that is, in addition, very visible. Why genetically modified animals?
The great stake is not creating a monkey visible in the dark , but that we have an easy to be observed marker. What follows now is the introduction of this marker with some forms of genes responsible for a certain disease, particularly are mentioned sclerosis and Parkinson's, with the advantage that it can then be followed, directly, the resulting phenotype.
An another recent experiment reports mice endowed with "speech gene",which is the FOXP2 gene.