“Frankenscientists” hailing from the communist “paradise” of China have successfully inserted human brain genes into live monkeys, creating a real life “Planet of the Apes” scenario with the world’s first half-human, half-ape hybrid being.
Using a special gene-editing technique they developed, the Chinese researchers were able to “enhance” the brain capacity of rhesus macaques monkeys, making them more “human-like” by adding an extra infusion of smarts, as well as enhanced memory capabilities.
Known as MCPH1, the altered gene reportedly caused the monkeys’ brains to develop in a more human-like manner, with results that included improved reaction times, better short-term memory, and other human-like abilities.
Following the success of this experiment, the research team decided to clone MCPH1 in order to produce a total of 11 transgenic rhesus monkeys – the goal being to create a practical model by which the process can be replicated indefinitely.
Other scientists call experiment “reckless,” say the whole thing is very risky
After it was widely reported that the experiment was a “success,” many speculating scientists chimed in about the risks involved with this type of “science.”
Some called the technique “reckless,” warning that it could open up a Pandora’s box of genetic failure, should the altered genes spread throughout monkey populations unabated.
“The use of transgenic monkeys to study human genes linked to brain evolution is a very risky road to take,” warned geneticist James Sikela, speaking to MIT Technology Review.
“It is a classic slippery slope issue and one that we can expect to recur as this type of research is pursued.”