Saturday, February 16, 2019

Terry Kaan Interviewed on Ethics of China Tweaking Genes to Induce Mental Illness in Monkeys (SCMP)

Laurie Chen
South China Morning Post
27 January 2019
Medical ethics experts are divided over an experiment in which Chinese scientists cloned gene-edited monkeys to induce mental illness in them.
     The five cloned monkey embryos had been edited to remove the BMAL1 gene, leading the baby animals to display symptoms of conditions such as anxiety, depression and schizophrenia as a result of disruption to their circadian rhythms, according to a study published in National Science Review on Thursday.
     But Terry Kaan Sheung-hung, co-director of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Medical Ethics and Law, said he had no objection to the experiment. 
     “Gene editing is not so different from the older gene knockout technique, which has been widely accepted in scientific circles for a long time. This new instance is a further development of the technique,” he said, adding that the gene knockout technique was commonly used in lab mice.
     “The report says that the scientists were careful in carrying out the experiment in accordance with animal welfare regulations, and the findings are open and subject to peer scrutiny.” ... Click here to read the full text. 

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