Today's issue of Nature brings a study of some rather mundane genetic experiments. I mean, putting an innocuous marker which glows into an animal and showing that it is transmitted to the offspring is tame stuff. It barely even rises to the level of a control these days.
Unless, of course, you do it in a species from the Primate order that can arguably be called a "monkey". Uh-oh.
Obviously this is the work of, well, you know. The bad guy. Ol' fork tail hissownself. The absolute proof is after the jump.
The article in question is:
Generation of transgenic non-human primates with germline transmission
Erika Sasaki, Hiroshi Suemizu, Akiko Shimada, Kisaburo Hanazawa, Ryo Oiwa, Michiko Kamioka, Ikuo Tomioka, Yusuke Sotomaru, Reiko Hirakawa, Tomoo Eto, Seiji Shiozawa, Takuji Maeda, Mamoru Ito, Ryoji Ito, Chika Kito, Chie Yagihashi, Kenji Kawai, Hiroyuki Miyoshi, Yoshikuni Tanioka, Norikazu Tamaoki, Sonoko Habu, Hideyuki Okano & Tatsuji Nomura
Nature 459, 523-527 (28 May 2009) | doi:10.1038/nature08090; Received 27 September 2008; Accepted 30 April 2009
sourceNow, this is not exactly my area of expertise so I'm just going to give you the highlights. The dumbed-down for me version is that the authors started with pre-implantation embryos (i.e. barely past the fertilized egg stage) from both natural marmoset intercourse and from an in vitro fertilization technique (to compare, really. They claim natural was better). They then used a lentiviral vector to deliver the bit of gene coding for the green florescent protein (GFP) to the embryo genome. (The familiar mouse genetic models use a slightly different technique and if I have it correctly, is laborious / expensive or uses too many donor eggs to pull off in monkeys.) The embryos were then implanted in surrogate dams. These authors managed to create five healthy offspring who glowed appropriately green when under UV light.
Now, as it happens, just by total coincidence I am suuure, one of these GFP transgenic marmosets received the internal numerical code of 666. The only male to result, too.
Of the surrogate mothers, seven that received natural or IVF embryos became pregnant. Three recipients miscarried on days 43, 62 and 82, and the other four delivered five healthy offspring (three singletons, one pair of twins), one male (number 666) and four females, on days 144-147 after ovulation
In another complete and utter coincidence ol' Beastie (as I like to call him) grew up
and got busy with another lady marmoset.
sourceActually he donated some sperm for IVF procedures using the eggs of a wildtype (i.e., not genetically manipulated) females which were then transferred to surrogate dams. The study reports one successful live birth in which the skin of the offspring (we'll call him the Son of Beast) glowed green under UV.
Thereby demonstrating germline transmission of the transgene.
As I said, tame stuff...unless you consider this is in a member of the Primate..uh (King Philip Came Over For Grape Soda)... Order. So now we're going to get the screaming and ranting about how Human Cloning is the next thing around the corner. Or some such thing.
Think they'll notice the thing about the Mark of the Beast?