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Chinese scientists have put human brain genes in monkeys—and yes, they may be smarter

By MIT Technology Review

A quest to understand how human intelligence evolved raises some ethical questionsRead full story

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  • Adèle Salin-Cantegrel
    Adèle Salin-CantegrelFounder at scikoop

    Once again, telling them that this is « wrong » is not going to stop them from going further in their very questionable experimental explorations... At which point will these trangenic apes be deemed human enough?

    « One that he has his eye on is SRGAP2C, a DNA variant that arose about two million years ago, just when Australopithecus was ceding the African savannah to early humans. That gene has been dubbed the “humanity switch” and the “missing genetic link” for its likely role in the emergence of human intelligence. »

  • Weiyee IN
    Weiyee INChief Strategy Officer

    For what reason do we constantly trying to make the horrors of science fiction a reality?

    Fungus and bacteria brought to space creating unknown risks if they are ever brought back?

    https://share.qz.com/news/2376447

    Do we want to make sure that the movie planet of the apes becomes a reality? Do we also not take any responsibility for whatever sentient life we create?

  • Dr Gail Barnes
    Dr Gail BarnesPartner at Personify LLC

    Scientific experiment or episode of Black Mirror? A slippery slope of ethical slide served with a side of animal cruelty. Heinous.

  • Kristen E. Strubberg
    Kristen E. Strubberg Founder, Editor-in-Chief at TGNR

    Beyond the ethical concerns, which are considerable, intelligence is genetically dynamic. There is no single “intelligence gene” responsible for all aspects of human intelligence just as there is no single “cancer gene” responsible for all human cancers.

  • John Gray
    John GrayFormer Banker Risk Management

    The planet of the apes from pre teen sci fi to reality. The scientists that engage in this behavior have to be cut off from the scientific community and sanctions applied.

  • I’d be glad to see an animal uplifted to sentience in my lifetime if we handled it ethically.

  • So then, test Octopus brain genes in humans?

  • Greg Vetter
    Greg VetterCEO at Tessemae’s

    Is there a reason we are trying to recreate “Planet of the apes”?

  • Has the "Planet of the Apes" franchise not reached China?

  • Lee Stewart
    Lee Stewart

    "I’d be glad to see an animal uplifted to sentience in my lifetime if we handled it ethically."

    Altering a creature genetically isn't ethical on any scale. Don't they teach ethics in college any more?

  • We need to develop ethics and rights for the subjects being created as a result of such experiments

  • Henry Tobias Jones
    Henry Tobias JonesEditor of Dyson on: at Dyson

    This is as brilliant as it is a terrifying remake of Rise of the planet of the apes...

  • Gerad Smith
    Gerad SmithDirector at IEC

    It's wonderfully horrifying that the CCP has such a monopoly on power (in what is soon to be the wealthiest nation on earth) that the party leaders simply get to make up ethics surrounding such perverse science as they go along (w the guiding lodestar an ever increasing power role for the party globally). They're in this position, w those resources at their unchecked disposal - at a time when bio-engineering is in fupp swing and AI singularity could be right around the bend, while the West is arguing

    It's wonderfully horrifying that the CCP has such a monopoly on power (in what is soon to be the wealthiest nation on earth) that the party leaders simply get to make up ethics surrounding such perverse science as they go along (w the guiding lodestar an ever increasing power role for the party globally). They're in this position, w those resources at their unchecked disposal - at a time when bio-engineering is in fupp swing and AI singularity could be right around the bend, while the West is arguing about whether or not men who cut off their penises are now women.

    Let's hope the CCP intends benevolence - because for the few decades remaining before our digital overlords remake reality as we know it, the CCP is going to be running the show.

  • Drew Davis
    Drew Davis

    What could possibly go wrong...

  • Adrian Warr
    Adrian WarrManaging Director at Edelman

    The monkeys or the Chinese scientists?!

  • Tony Flip
    Tony Flip

    Science fiction is supposed to stay FICTION!!!

  • Are we creating a Chimaera, the Greek mythology monster? What is the ethical code for such research? How many animals and for how long are suffering in such laboratories?

  • Navin Rai
    Navin Rai

    Isn't this the start of planet of the apes?

  • Planet of the Apes! Can we revive Heston to save us? (“Soylent Green is People, man!”)

  • “scientists in southern China report that they’ve tried to narrow the evolutionary gap, creating several transgenic macaque monkeys with extra copies of a human gene suspected of playing a role in shaping human intelligence.

    The modified monkeys did better on a memory test and their brains also took longer to develop—as those of human children do.”

    I find this uncomfortable

  • David Yakobovitch
    David YakobovitchAI Professor at Galvanize

    I wonder who approved this research or what the expected outcome was?

  • The way we behave with lab rats,monkeys and other animals is a clear indication of how our successors down the evolution line will deal with us or probably worse because we are definitely not the omega point or the final product.Also,it would be interesting to see how much longer the EU countries and US will hold their current policies in the face of growing Chinese monopoly in the field of gene editing.

  • Akash Goel
    Akash GoelSoftware Development Engineer at Amazon

    In all these animal experiments related to quantifying intelligence, I wonder if they let these animals out to understand and play with their environment? I think exploration is a great component in development of any animal's intelligence and self-awareness.

  • Super Jock
    Super JockDisc Jocky at Super Jock Voiceovers

    “The only good human..., 🙈

  • Bob Lee
    Bob Lee

    Ok, ok, I get the outrage. But isn’t anybody else just a little bit curious about what it will be like to understand how intelligence works? We barely understand the underlying biochemistry of memories and thoughts. It will take many breakthroughs before we can improve our understanding well enough to improve our minds or monkeysminds.

  • Arindam Das
    Arindam DasHead - Digital Marketing at Bharti Airtel

    Maybe it’s not development in synthetic intelligence but playing god with evolution will change the world as we know it

  • Frank Jones
    Frank Jones

    Planet of the Apes for realz.

  • Jim Dougherty
    Jim Dougherty

    I live it.

    We're building a new tower of Babel and it's collapse will take us all (or most)

  • Joe Munoz
    Joe MunozCTO at URWelcome Technologies

    This is earth?

  • Cornelius, is that you?

  • Jermaine Tucker
    Jermaine Tucker

    My question is "why?" What goal are the hoping to achieve? And, what are they going to discover? I'm just curious

  • Rehan Choudhury
    Rehan Choudhury

    Now if only they would put monkey genes into people, we could get this banana-party started.

  • Paul Hasna
    Paul Hasna

    Well yeah, it's how the beings from outside Earth engineered us

  • Steve Troyer
    Steve Troyer

    The reverse should be tested with POTUS. There could be a cure

  • Bob Monsen
    Bob Monsen

    What's wrong with you guys? Talking monkeys? Smarter dogs? Smarter humans? The rich are already smarter (or can rent smart) so no change from now wrt that.

    You just don't want to deal with the ethics of the situation.

  • Lisa Marie Obrotka
    Lisa Marie Obrotka

    Keep screwing with genetics and we will see what happens.

  • Yuta Suzuki
    Yuta SuzukiWeb Marketing at Global Sky Education

    We need to think about update for ethical value for all human being. Why evolution, why developing. So what?

  • Some things should be left alone. Human's always want an answer...

  • Ben Wu
    Ben Wu

    This is cool and all, but perhaps we should resolve our inter-species conflicts before we try to introduce another intelligent species into the mix.

    You've heard of racism, now buckle up and get ready for SPECIESM

  • AlekSa Gorisek
    AlekSa Gorisek

    What gives humans the right to do that? Just because we can? When their brain is modified enough, will they resent it or want to modify it further or perhaps modify ours? To what end? And where would it end? Can’t think of one benefit; this is just wrong

  • Gary Samaniego
    Gary Samaniego

    Ethics Will play a very little part on this

  • H T
    H T

    Surprised China exports over 30,000 monkeys a year.

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