Why Brain Science Needs an Edit: Non-human Primate Studies in Neuroscience and Biomedicine
Research in experimental biology and biomedical sciences has been greatly facilitated by the use of animal models. Because of their evolutionary proximity to humans, non-human primates are favorable models for understanding human neurobiology and brain disorders.
Mu-ming Poo, founding director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, will discuss the use of gene-editing tools such as CRISPR in efforts to develop a macaque monkey behavioral model for studying self-consciousness. These gene-edited macaque monkeys with uniform genetic background hold exciting promise for research on primate neurobiology and for developing therapeutics for human disease. Such use of non-human primates, like other frontier research in science and technology, raises ethical issues that must be dealt with by the research community and the society at large. Poo will also address the relevant ethical issues associated with gene editing and the use of non-human primates in biomedical research.