Sunday, November 18, 2018


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The first monkey that has shown the presence of an autism gene has turned 3!!

He prefers to run around the cage rather than interact with other monkeys.

The gene SHANK3, was not found on most of the monkeys genes but it still is showing the signs of autism. In humans, 2% of people show mutations of SHANK3. And when mice were used to experiment mutations of said gene they did not show reliable signs.

When experimenting gene mutations on monkeys, one observation was made that the mutant monkeys did not vocalize till about 18 months where as normal monkeys did immediately.

“Overall, the mutant monkey explores its cage less than the controls and spends more time engaging in persistent behaviors with no apparent purpose, such as pacing or rocking”(wright1).

The mutant monkeys are a good model for autism as they mimic the similar signs of humans. The monkeys with the SHANK3 also exhibit high anxiety and are relatively smaller in size compared to others.

The researchers gave the mutant monkeys 2.5 milligrams of fluoxetine per kilogram of body weight, in their food. And they circled its cage 86% less overall, and socialized for 15 times longer than before. But after treatment was over they returned to previous behavior.

I thought this article was informative but I’m not a fan of the experimentation on monkeys or animals because as the article stated some monkeys who received the mutations as the result of creating the experimental group died before birth or soon after because their bodies could not sustain itself.

More about SHANK3

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