Why Brain Science Needs an Edit | Mu-ming Poo || Radcliffe Institute | Summary and Q&A

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May 28, 2019
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Harvard University
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Why Brain Science Needs an Edit | Mu-ming Poo || Radcliffe Institute

TL;DR

Renowned neuroscientist Dr. Mu-ming Poo discusses the use of non-human primate models in scientific research, including the creation of transgenic and cloned monkeys. The potential benefits and ethical implications of these models are explored.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How are non-human primate models used in neuroscience research?

Non-human primate models have been crucial in advancing our understanding of the neurobiology of learning, memory, and brain diseases. Researchers can study specific genes associated with brain disorders by creating transgenic and cloned monkeys.

Q: What are the potential benefits of using non-human primate models?

Non-human primate models offer a more accurate representation of human neurobiology compared to other animal models. They provide insights into complex cognitive processes, such as empathy, language, and self-awareness, that are not easily studied in other species.

Q: What are some ethical considerations regarding the use of non-human primate models?

The ethical questions surrounding non-human primate models involve animal welfare and the need to ensure ethical research practices. There is debate over the use of primates for experiments and whether the benefits of research outweigh the potential harm to the animals. Additionally, concerns about the creation of transgenic and cloned animals raise questions about species-specific ethical distinctions.

Q: How can non-human primate models contribute to advancements in biomedical research?

Non-human primate models can provide critical insights into human neurobiology that cannot be derived from other animal models. By studying brain disorders in monkeys, researchers can develop better treatments and potentially discover new drugs for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Dr. Mu-ming Poo discusses the use of non-human primate models in neuroscience research, citing their importance in understanding the neurobiology of learning, memory, and brain diseases.

  • The creation of transgenic and cloned monkeys allows researchers to study specific genes associated with various brain disorders.

  • The ethical questions surrounding the use of non-human primate models for research, including considerations of animal welfare and the potential for groundbreaking biomedical discoveries, are highlighted.

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