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Genomic sequence and comparison of 2 macaques reveal new insights into biomedical research
Date:10/17/2011

October 17th, 2011, Shenzhen, China The South China Center for Innovative Pharmaceuticals, Sun Yat-Sen University, and BGI, the world's largest genomic organization, announced that they were among the research organizations from China, US and UK comprising an international research group that completed the genome sequence and comparison of two non-human primate animal models - Chinese rhesus macaque and cynomolgus. The study is published today online in the journal Nature Biotechnology.

This study marks an important milestone in macaque genome research and plays an important role in the better understanding of genetic differences among macaque monkeys. It also reveals new insights into the evolutionary history of the macaque genome, human disease research and drug discovery. "We believe these insights will generate great interest among geneticists, medical scientists and clinical researchers worldwide and facilitate the effective use of non-human primate models in medical research." said Prof. Guangmei Yan, the co-leading author of the study and Senior Consultant of The South China Center for Innovative Pharmaceuticals.

Macaques are the most extensively used non-human primates in biomedical research. They have contributed to pre-clinical studies all over the world, including the discovery of vaccines, drug development and behavioral research. Indian rhesus macaque, in particular, has been used for more than half century in pre-clinical research. However, India banned the export of all macaques in 1978, leading to the current shortage of resource for pre-clinical research.

Facing this problem, scientists have been gradually paying more attention on other macaque species/subspecies for a suitable alternative animal model, particularly on the Chinese rhesus macaque (Macaca mulatta lasiota) and the cynomolgus/crab-eating macaque (Macaca fascicularis). "In order to select the most relevant non-human primate model in
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Contact: Jia Liu
liujia@genomics.cn
Beijing Genomics Institute
Source:Eurekalert

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