SOURCE: Shanghai Daily, China
AUTHOR: Xinhua, China
URL: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/article/?id=373493&type=National
DATE: 12.09.2008

CHINESE scientists have bred the country's first testtube monkeys, in the first step toward breeding genetically engineered monkeys for scientific research.

Dr Sun Qiang of the Shanghai-based East China Normal University led the primate research group to create the seven macaques, a type of monkey fond of eating crabs.

Their experiments were published in the latest edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Primates are usually used for studying medical treatment for human diseases as they are closest among animals to the physique, genetic nature and behavior of human beings. Dr Sun's project was carried out under the state-financed program that focuses on the primate reproductive research and bio-engineering.

".Our next step is to bring about more test-tube monkeys and eventually make genemodified monkeys to benefit medical research" Dr Sun said. Chinese scientists are trying to engineer transgenic monkeys. American researchers produced the world's first gene-modified monkey, Andi, in 2000.