Although you might have seen a lot of sci-fi movies where human-animal embryos were grown by scientist, this is not a movie. A group of scientists has managed to grow the first human-animal embryos.
This experiment helps researchers get one step closer to growing transplantable organs. If scientists would be able to grow transplantable organs in animals it would solve the organ donor problem. This way people won’t have to wait for an organ; they will receive it from an animal.
In order to grow the first human-animal embryos, scientists used stem cells from an adult person and implanted them in pig embryos. After that they just let them grow for at least 4 weeks. Once they saw that they were successful they terminated the embryos before a cross-species appeared.
This experiment was a hard one. In order to succeed, at last, they needed more than 1000 pig embryos. The whole study took more than 4 years to complete and at the end, they terminated the human-animal embryos.
The scientists discovered that the human cells started to develop into muscle tissue at first. Despite the fact that scientists terminated the embryos, there were a lot of people who criticized this experiment. Many believe that the scientists should not play with nature because the human-animal embryos could grow into an animal with human qualities.
People believe that the animal that would be born from this mixture might have human intelligence. The scientists who completed this study mentioned that the level of human contribution to the embryos was low. They also said that it did not include precursors to brain cells.
This is not the first experiment in which scientists combine stem cells from other species. A previous research has produced a mice pancreas grown inside a rat. The difference is that the mice and rats are closely related to one another.
Other scientists and researchers believed that this experiment was an exciting one that could help us understand more about evolution. They also mentioned that this could be a revolution if the experiment is continued. Although this type of experiment could lead to transplantable organs the human-animal embryos are seen with skepticism by many people.
What is your opinion about this experiment? Do you think that they should go on with it?
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