World’s first chimeric monkeys Roku and Hex born using mixed embryos (Video)

By on Jan 7, 2012 in Animals, Science, United States Comments

The so-called world’s first chimeric monkeys were recently born using a mixture of different embryos, in which twins Roku and Hex were among them, as shown in the video below.

chimeric monkeys Roku (left) and Hex
Image Credit: OHSU

According to Live Science on Thursday, January 5, 2012, scientists at the Oregon National Primate Research Center (ONPRC) have created as many as six chimeric monkeys by combining several embryos.

As noted in the report, the research team, which came from Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) glued together cells from individual rhesus monkey embryos and implanted them to mother monkeys.

“The cells never fuse, but they stay together and work together to form tissues and organs. The possibilities for science are enormous,” Shoukhrat Mitalipov of the ONPRC at OHSU, was quoted on the report.

At first, the researchers reportedly tried creating chimeric monkeys using the process being done for chimeric mice but it failed. They then recovered the stem cells from an embryo’s inner cell mass; instead from the freezer after being cultured.

Later, these stem cells were injected into five surrogate mother monkeys, without culturing them; and the twin monkeys Roku (Japanese word for six) and Hex (Greek prefix that means six) and a singleton, Chimero were delivered via C-section.

Nevertheless, Mitalipov, whose report is set to appear at the January 20 issue of the journal Cell, emphasized that they have no plans to create human chimeras since the research by itself is already helpful in conducting biomedical research for humans.

World’s first chimeric monkeys, Roku and Hex
Video Credit: OHSU News/Vimeo

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