Once upon a time: a fluorescent monkey – Le Quotidien

This story takes place in a laboratory in China. For years, scientists in this country and around the world have been experimenting with creating “chimeras.”

A chimera is an animal with characteristics of two or more animal species. A zebra with a lion’s head, for example.

Chimeras have been part of legends for centuries. Chimeras didn’t really exist for a long time. But thanks to advances in science, they are now a reality!

Well, maybe not the zebra with a lion’s head, but, for example, a mouse with the pancreas of a rat. (The pancreas is an organ of the digestive system). Or even our fluorescent monkey. In his case, he got his special color from a… jellyfish! Uh yes! Number 10 is a monkey-jellyfish chimera!

Here is a photo taken three days after

How did the scientists do that?

When Number 10 was still an embryo (the first stage of a living creature’s development), the team changed its genetic code.

The genetic code is the unique “recipe” of every living thing. Usually this recipe is simple: half of the ingredients come from mom, the other half from dad.

In the case of number 10 it is more complicated. Before he was born, scientists introduced an element into him that gave him the fluorescence of a jellyfish.

But that’s not even what makes number 10 really special. Scientists have long been able to create fluorescent mice or even sheep.

Number 10 is unique because scientists also added another monkey’s embryo to its genetic code. In a way, he is not just one monkey, but two, each with a different father and mother. And all in the same body.

1 + 1 = …1!!!

But why did scientists go to all this trouble?

Let’s start with fluorescence.

Animals like Number 10 are intended to be guinea pigs, meaning they are intended to be used in laboratory experiments to find cures for human diseases. When certain organs of these animals fluoresce, scientists can better observe their symptoms or reactions to medications.

By adding another monkey’s genes to number 10’s genetic code, the scientists wanted to take the experiment further. Your goal: “improve” number 10, i.e. make you stronger in the face of illness.

The goal was to make Number 10 a super monkey. But all these experiments are not yet finished. The proof: Number 10 was born in poor health and unfortunately only survived 10 days…😔

For several scientists, these experiments will help people live better and longer. But there are also people who wonder whether this is all a good idea. Because if, for example, scientists one day manage to create chimeras that are half human, half ape, that would raise a lot of questions…

How: But which living being should be considered human and which should not?

What do you think of such an experience? Is that a good idea or not?

Number 10 was born two years ago in a laboratory in Shanghai, China. We know of his existence because of a study about him that was just published. It is the first example of a monkey being born with a high concentration of cells from an embryo other than its own.