(ORDO NEWS) — A team of scientists was able to grow an embryo consisting of human and monkey cells. The achievement was highlighted in an article in Cell, excerpts from which were submitted to “npr”.
It is noted that the aim of the study was to create new ways of producing organs for people who require transplantation.
Researchers from the United States and China, led by Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, Professor at the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute of Biological Sciences in La Jolla, injected 25 cells known as induced human pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) into monkey monkey embryos. The animals were chosen because of their close genetic relationship with humans. One day later, human cells were found growing in 132 embryos.
After studying them for 19 days, Belmonte said that it allowed scientists to learn more about how animal and human cells interact. In his opinion, this is an important step towards helping researchers find new ways to grow organs for transplantation.
The embryos of an organism called a chimera have worried the scientific community.
“I think the public will be concerned, and I will too, that we are just moving forward with science without having proper conversation about what we should or shouldn’t do,” said Kirstin Matthews, a research fellow at the Rice University Baker Institute.
There were also supporters of the experiment.
“I do not find these studies ethically problematic. They are aimed at high humanitarian goals,” said Insoo Hyun, a bioethics specialist at Case Western Reserve University and Harvard University.
According to Belmonte, the scientists did not have the task of “creating a monster.”
“Our goal is not to create a new organism or a monster. We are trying to understand how cells of different organisms interact with each other,” the scientist emphasized in defense of the experiment.
Some critics of the results noted that such hybrid creatures in adulthood can produce human sperm or eggs.
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