By Veronique GreenwoodPosted 03.08.2013 at 3:18 pm 0 Comments
DNA sequencing has revolutionized medicine and biomedical research. For example, DNA analysis can tell doctors which drug might work best against a particular cancer. But current technology usually sequences only short stretches of DNA and can take hours or days.
Chimpanzees are only necessary as research subjects in a very limited number of cases, according to an expert committee convened by the National Research Council and Institute of Medicine, part of the National Academy of Sciences. And the apes’ future use as lab animals — which is not being banned outright in this country — should be determined according to a new set of specific criteria, the committee said.
Japanese biologists have made genetically modified primates that can pass the modification to their offspring -- a first for science. The researchers, reporting in Nature, introduced a jellyfish gene to marmosets that made their skin glow green under UV light, a quick, harmless test of the technique's success. The goal is for future marmosets to bear genes for human disease. Such colonies of research animals may model neurological disorders far better than lab mice.