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2019-07-31. China’s CRISPR push in animals promises better meat, novel therapies, and pig organs for people.

posted Aug 5, 2019, 8:07 AM by Alan Gould   [ updated Aug 5, 2019, 8:09 AM ]
By Jon Cohen, Science Magazine. [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/china-s-crispr-push-animals-promises-better-meat-novel-therapies-and-pig-organs-people] For GSS Losing Biodiversity chapter 4. Excerpt: ... Through a combination of patience, ingenuity, and enormous animal resources, the team has already used CRISPR to create an astonishing range of genome-edited monkeys to serve as models for studying human diseases. ...They’ve built on that success, exploiting CRISPR’s speed and precision to create monkey models of muscular dystrophy, autism, and cancer. ...Almost 2 years ago, in a proof of principle for He’s infamous experiment, they knocked out in monkey embryos the gene for the immune cell protein CCR5, a mutation that makes humans resistant to infection with the most commonly transmitted variant of HIV. That work leaves them uneasy today. “We had no idea he was going to do this in a human being,” Niu says, stressing that their study had yet to evaluate how the editing affected the monkeys when news of the edited babies broke. “It’s unbelievable.” China now has at least four groups of CRISPR researchers doing gene editing with large colonies of monkeys. ...says reproductive biologist Jon Hennebold at the Oregon National Primate Research Center in Hillsboro “The level of animal support they have to do those experiments is really astounding.” It’s not just monkeys. China’s researchers have racked up a long list of CRISPR firsts in dogs, mice, rats, pigs, and rabbits. That research promises higher quality meats, disease-resistant livestock, and new medical treatments and organs for human transplantation.... See also To feed its 1.4 billion, China bets big on genome editing of crops [https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/feed-its-14-billion-china-bets-big-genome-editing-crops ]