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July 2, 2020

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Science park’s second-phase work starts

A science park where the world’s first genetically edited cloned monkeys were born has started the second phase of its construction in Songjiang District.

The G60 Brain Intelligence Innovation Park was opened in Songjiang’s Sheshan Town in July 2018.

Its first phase will be in full operation by the end of the year, with the second phase complete by December 2022.

The project is developed by the district government and the Center for Excellence in Brain Science and Intelligence Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Over two years, researchers have made fruitful achievements, including world pioneering research on nonhuman primates, said Mu-ming Poo, a neuroscientist and academic director of the center.

In January last year, the park created the world’s first genetically edited cloned monkeys with disrupted circadian clocks. It was one year after Chinese researchers used the technique that produced Dolly the sheep in 1996 to produce the first cloned monkeys.

Since the brains of monkeys are similar to human brains, the approach of cloning genetically edited monkeys can help better understand and develop treatment for gene-based diseases, including brain diseases, immune and metabolic disorders, and cancers.

Based on the results, the park has made some progress in early intervention in brain disease and the testing of cognitive functions. It has also worked with the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica under the CAS to develop new medicines for brain diseases.

It aims to become a global research center for nonhuman primate disease modeling.


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