Caution urged in human-ape brain stem test

Jul 15, 2005

Researchers were cautioned Friday about brain disease experiments that would involve putting human brain stem cells into monkeys or apes.

If stem cells show promise in treating diseases of the human brain, any potential therapy would need to be tested in animals. But putting human brain stem cells into monkeys or apes could raise awkward ethical dilemmas, like the possibility of generating a humanlike mind in a chimpanzee's body, The New York Times said.

No such experiments are planned but, in a paper in the journal Science, a group of scientists and ethicists is advising researchers to exercise care with such experiments, particularly if they should lead to a large fraction of a chimpanzee's brain's being composed of human neurons.

If stem-cell therapies for Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease were to be developed, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration might require tests in monkeys or apes before permitting clinical trials.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Program reduces bullying by students with disabilities, study finds

Related Stories

Activating genes on demand

Mar 04, 2015

When it comes to gene expression - the process by which our DNA provides the recipe used to direct the synthesis of proteins and other molecules that we need for development and survival - scientists have ...

Virtual-twin plan could support surgery for soldiers

Feb 16, 2015

A Saturday story in the MIRROR.CO.UK, the online edition of the Daily Mirror, carried a headline that made readers look once, twice, three times: "'Virtual twins' could save lives as doctors prepare to te ...

Do viruses make us smarter?

Jan 12, 2015

A new study from Lund University in Sweden indicates that inherited viruses that are millions of years old play an important role in building up the complex networks that characterise the human brain.

Recommended for you

Using Twitter to probe political polarization

2 hours ago

We'd like to believe that our opinions are nuanced, balanced, high-minded, wise and above all, unique, but alas they are not—or so says Twitter. Most often, those we engage with on the popular social media ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.