First Monkeys with Autism Created in China

January 25, 2015: Read article in MIT Technology Review.

Scientists in China say they used genetic engineering to create monkeys with a version of autism, and they now plan to attempt to reverse the symptoms by erasing the genetic error in live animals using new genome-editing technologies such as CRISPR. They hope that this work will one day lead to a cure for autism and change the way we study human disabilities. However, their research raises several ethical questions related to genetic engineering and animal welfare, as well as practical considerations over how accurate a model of autism their genetically engineered monkeys are.