China took a central step in the debate on the genetics of genetics with the revelation that researcher Han Jiankui edited the genes of human embryos to make them immune to HIV.
On Thursday, it was reported that the Chinese Academy of Sciences Institute of Neuroscience (CASIN) edited monkey genes to deliberately make them schizophrenic and then cloned the monkeys to create more subjects for laboratory testing. The report came from National Science Review, which gave extensive details on how the monkey DNA was adjusted using the same CRISPR tool used by He Jiankui to perform his experiment on people.
The testes showed symptoms such as "reduced sleep time, elevated night-time activity, muted circadian cycling of blood hormones, increased anxiety and depression" as well as a number of "schizophrenia-like behaviors", mainly because CRISPR was employed to delete the DNA information that prevents them conditions in developing in healthy monkeys.
The purpose of the experiment was to produce a clear supply of monkeys with selected negative conditions so that researchers could study the diseases and test the medication. This would ideally reduce the need to capture wild macaques and use them for testing. The disorders intentionally introduced into the redesigned monkey and its clones are associated with human sleep disorders, depression, cancer and Alzheimer's disease.
Although Chinese media reports insist the researchers to follow strict ethical guidelines, Economic Times  in India predicted that it would "raise new ethical concerns about re-editing." Australia's ABC News noted that China remains the only country to have cloned a primate, and now it has cloned a genetically altered primate.
"Genetically modifying monkey embryos so that the resulting animals suffer from various diseases are potentially troubled. Creating accurate copies of these animals to effectively build a stock of suffering animals for testing is even more eerie. Benefits of Developing Treatments to Like People Offset the Negatives? It's something scientists are still discussing and will likely continue to debate for some time, "Technical Website BGR predicted on Thursday.
One can only wonder how long it will take for anyone to try genetic editing and cloning embryos to assist in research into severe medicine for the most serious conditions that afflict us or before certain Countries facing severe demographic crises are investigating the possibility of genetic manipulation and cloning of a new generation of citizens to compensate for declining natural birth rates.