A transgenic primate has been successfully created for the first time, according to research published in 12 January Science. The monkey, which was born in October last year, is a rhesus macaque and carries the reporter gene encoding GFP (green fluorescent protein).

Anthony Chan and colleagues injected a genetically modified viral vector into the space between the outer and inner membrane of unfertilised rhesus monkey eggs. A few hours later the eggs were injected with sperm, then allowed to grow for a few days before implantation into a surrogate female.

The technique was tried on 224 monkey eggs. Forty embryos were created but only five could be implanted. Two of the monkeys were stillborn, yet showed evidence of GFP expression, and three were born healthy. The GFP gene was detected in only one of these healthy monkeys, named ANDi ('inserted DNA' backwards).

But ANDi does not yet express GFP...

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