Transgenic Monkeys Produced in Japan

This is SCIENCE IN THE NEWS, a program in VOA Special English. I'm Bob Doughty. And I'm Shirley Griffith.

This week, we will tell about a study involving monkeys and a gene from jellyfish. We will tell about an agreement to ban nine dangerous chemicals. We will also report on problems linked to cigarette smoking and alcoholic drinks. (MUSIC) Scientists in Japan say they have produced monkeys with a gene that gives the skin of the animals an unusual look. The skin is said to look bright green under ultraviolet lighting. The scientists say the monkeys represent an important step in how researchers study human disease. These marmosets are the first fully transgenic primates. Primates are the biological group of animals that includes monkeys and apes. An animal that has received foreign genetic material is considered transgenic. For almost thirty years, researchers have used transgenic mice to carry out biomedical research. To produce these animals, researchers inject fertilized mice eggs with foreign genes, and then place them in the uterus of a female mouse. The specially chosen genes are then expressed in some of the mouse's babies. Transgenic mice help researchers study the appearance and treatment of human diseases. But mice are not as helpful as primates are for studying the behavior of human diseases. Scientists at Japan's Central Institute for Experimental Animals led the study that made the transgenic marmosets. The scientists say they injected a green glowing protein found in jellyfish into fertilized marmoset eggs. They chose this gene because it is easy to see with a fluorescent light. Four of the five marmosets born as part of the experiment carried the foreign gene in several kinds of tissue. The fifth only carried the green protein in its placenta tissue at birth. Two of the animals later showed the foreign gene in their reproductive cells. This means they would pass on the gene for the green protein to their young.

DDT. Another banned chemical is the pesticide Lindane. It takes many years for them to weaken. They have also been linked to cancer. They said they want DDT banned. effective choices to DDT. a male transgenic marmoset reproduced and passed on the green gene to a baby. The chemicals are joining twelve other substances that are already banned under a treaty known as the Stockholm Convention.products meant to kill insects. animals and human beings. They could be used to study conditions like Parkinson's disease and Lou Gehrig's disease. Mr. or PFOS. It is used in some areas as a treatment for head lice. And. He says the substances are especially dangerous because they travel through the air and stay in the atmosphere. These substances can damage the human nervous system and natural defenses against disease. The scientists say the marmosets could one day be easily produced for medical research. Donald Cooper is Executive Secretary of the Stockholm Convention. conference also reached a decision on another pesticide. The treaty was signed in two thousand one. (MUSIC) Officials from more than one hundred sixty governments have agreed to ban production of nine of the world's most dangerous chemicals. soil and water. The Stockholm Convention governs some kinds of industrial chemicals and pesticides -. And. It is found in electrical parts and fire-fighting products. it means that transgenic marmosets can be produced from breeding instead of by the lengthy process of injecting fertilized eggs. they hope to ban its use by two thousand ten.Later. This is the first time scientists have successfully passed on a foreign gene to a future generation. The governments at the U.N. The governments said they will consider a plan that supports safer. The substances can also kill people. The agreement was announced last month at a United Nations conference in Switzerland. One of the newly banned chemicals is perflurooctane sulfonic acid. A report about the experiment was published last month in Nature magazine. . reproductive disorders and interfere with normal child development. Cooper says the substances build up in the cells of plants. but recognize that some countries use it to protect people from diseases like malaria.

But. the female smokers were younger and had smoked a lot less. These are the two most common forms of the disease.P. genes and hormones could also play an important part. she says.. is a new name for emphysema and chronic bronchitis. C. Many people with C. there are differences between males and females in the way the body processes cigarette smoke.O. The leading cause is cigarette smoking.P.O. Inga-Cecilie Soerheim also wrote about the team's findings. have both of them. And. she says. DAWN DeMEO: "By two thousand and twenty. blocks airflow through the lungs. Also. The study was presented last month to the American Thoracic Society. Doctor Soerheim says there are several possible explanations why women may be more at risk from the effects of cigarette smoke than men.P.P.P. Women have smaller airways.P. America's National Institutes of Health says the damage to the lungs cannot be repaired and there is no cure.D. (MUSIC) . as men. In both cases.O. also known as C.D. and a greater loss of lung function than men. Dawn DeMeo is an assistant professor at Harvard Medical School in Massachusetts.(MUSIC) Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. so each cigarette may do more harm.D.D. Doctor DeMeo wrote about a study by a team from Harvard's Brigham and Women's Hospital and the University of Bergen in Norway. The team also looked at two groups among the people in the study.P.D. These were people under the age of sixty and those who had smoked for less than twenty years. She says they show that women suffered the same severity of C.O.O.D. will likely be the third leading cause of death across the world.O." C.O. The study adds to findings that women may be more at risk than men for the damaging effects of smoking. The team examined results from a Norwegian study of more than nine hundred people with C. It makes breathing difficult. women had more severe C.D.

But the effects might be more serious than just a red face. a listener in Taiwan wrote to ask why his face turns red when he drinks alcohol. He says doctors should ask East Asian patients about their experiences with facial flushing after drinking alcohol. It estimates that at least five hundred forty million people have the deficiency. But once it grows the chances of survival drop sharply. Doctor Brooks says it is important to educate people about the link between the alcohol flushing effect and esophageal cancer. Dana Demange and June Simms. a publication of the Public Library of Science. It affects an estimated thirty-six percent of Japanese. It prevents their bodies from processing alcohol the way other people do. Most commonly. the greater their risk. shortness of breath and headaches.Finally. People might also feel sick to their stomach and lightheaded. A report about facial flushing appeared recently in PLoS Medicine. . The cause is a genetic difference that some people are born with. Our producer was Brianna Blake. Researchers have warned of a link between this condition and an increased risk of cancer of the esophagus from drinking alcohol. increased heart rate. Philip Brooks is a researcher at America's National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. This effect called facial flushing is a common reaction to alcohol among East Asians. This SCIENCE IN THE NEWS was written by Lawan Davis. even a little alcohol can cause unpleasant effects. Join us again next week for more news about science in Special English on the Voice of America. I'm Shirley Griffith. And I'm Bob Doughty. They should also be warned that cigarette smoking works with the alcohol in a way that further increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Esophageal cancer is one of the deadliest cancers. For many people. their face. neck and sometimes their whole body turns red. Chinese and Koreans. It can be treated when found early. The report says the more alcohol that persons with this deficiency drink. Those with a history of it should be advised to limit their alcohol use. They might experience a burning sensation.

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