Chinese scientists put human brain genes in a monkey

Everything we know about evolution tells us that humans have primate ancestors, and that the development of our complex brains is what allowed ancient humans to forge the path that we’re on today. Determining what changes in primate brains prompted our fork of the evolution tree to take shape is something scientists in China are tackling in a revolutionary — and scary — way.

A new study led by researchers at the Kunming Institute of Zoology combined human brain genes with modern macaque monkeys, creating transgenic specimens that demonstrate more advanced problem-solving skills than their unmodified brethren. If you think this sounds like the plot of a bad sci-fi movie, that’s because it does.

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