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Chinese Scientists Clone Monkeys For Mental Health Research

Chinese scientists have made clones of a gene-edited macaque to aid research of circadian rhythm disorders that are linked to sleep problems, depression and Alzheimer's disease, the official Xinhua news agency says.

It is the first time multiple clones have been made from a gene-edited monkey for biomedical research, the agency said.

The clones were born at the Institute of Neuroscience at the China Academy of Sciences in Shanghai.

The monkeys will pave the way to research for mental health problems in humans. (Image AAP)

A gene-edited monkey most prone to the disorder was selected as a donor, and its fibroblasts were used to make five cloned monkeys, Xinhua said, citing National Science Review, a Chinese journal.

The official China Daily said the clones would pave the way for more research into such problems in humans, which have become a major mental health concern.

There are five cloned monkeys. (Image AAP)

The cloned monkeys already show signs of "negative behaviour", including sleep disorders, as well as elevated levels of anxiety and "schizophrenia-like behaviours", the paper added.

Xinhua said the program, supervised by the institute's ethics panel, was in line with international ethical standards for animal research.

Feature Image: AAP