Chinese scientists have succeeded in recombining mouse chromosomes to create the world’s first mammal with fully reprogrammed genes.
Using the CRISPR gene-editing tool, researchers from Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) In Beijing, the chromosomes were divided into different segments and rearranged into different combinations to create a new bundle of genes, resulting in a mouse called “Xiao Zhu” (Little Bamboo).
The paper was published in the academic journal Sciences On Thursday, the research team reported the first-ever modification of genes in mammals at a scale as large as chromosomes.
Chromosomes, which carry DNA in the cell nucleus, naturally disintegrate and recombine via a complex and delicate process. In the past, humans only succeeded in replicating the process in the lab using single-celled organisms such as yeast.
Li Wei, lead author of the study and a researcher at the Institute of Zoology at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, said: Quoted saying.
Errors that occur during this segregation and fusion of chromosomes under normal conditions sometimes lead to cancer and other serious conditions.
When Lee and his colleagues manipulated chromosomes by stitching together two very long pieces of the chromosome, they also made some mistakes that either resulted in the death of the producing mice, distorted samples, or strange behaviors.
Using the shorter chromosomes and reducing the total number of chromosomes from 20 pairs to 19 enabled them to create a new karyotype in mice that looked healthy and normal despite having completely different chromosomes from mice in nature.
“For the first time in the world, we have achieved a complete rearrangement of chromosomes in mammals, and achieved a new breakthrough in synthetic biology,” Lee was quoted as saying. “This research is a breakthrough in bioengineering technology, helping to understand the impact of large-scale remodeling of mammalian chromosomes, and to gain a deeper understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying growth and development, reproductive evolution, and even species formation.”
The reprogrammed mice were able to mate and procreate with normal mice, suggesting that artificial changes can be passed down through generations.
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Mice, however, clone in Much lower rate of standard experimental mice due to a defect in how chromosomes separate after alignment.
According to scientists, their breakthrough could lead to treatments for conditions such as infertility and diseases such as cancer, allowing researchers to monitor and control chromosomes in mammalian cells.
In 2018, Associate Professor of Southern University of Science and Technology of China (SUSTC) Hu Jiankui drew near-universal criticism To create the world’s first genetically modified babies using CRISPR technology. He was released from prison in April this year after being sentenced in January 2020 for intentionally violating Chinese biomedical regulations.
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