A monkey with bright green fingertips and eyes was born in a major breakthrough for Chinese scientists researching the growth of primate cells.
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The baby macaque was composed of cells from "two genetically distinct embryos of the same species of monkey", according to the study published in the journal Cell on November 9.
Distinctive fluorescent green proteins were used to label stem cells and allow scientists to track their growth in the monkey.
"This is a long-sought goal in the field," Chinese Academy of Sciences researcher and the study's senior author Zhen Liu said.
"This research not only has implications for understanding naive pluripotency in other primates, including humans, but it also has relevant practical implications for genetic engineering and species conservation.
"Specifically, this work could help us to generate more precise monkey models for studying neurological diseases as well as for other biomedicine studies."
Researchers said the effect had been demonstrated in rats and mice but, until now, had not been possible in other species.
The infant monkey survived only 10 days.
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Researchers plan to "further explore the mechanisms that underlie the survival of the embryos in the host animals" which they said would help improve the efficiency of chimera generation.
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