Scientists have finally managed to create embryos in a lab with the cells of both humans and monkeys.
With this creation of chimeric embryos, scientists now hope that they will be able to create organs for those people who need transplants desperately.
More than 100,000 people are currently waiting for organ transplants in the United States that can save their lives. However, since the pandemic unfolded, the supply of organ donations has dropped by quite a lot.
In the past, scientists did try to inject human stem cells into the embryos of sheep and pigs in the hope of growing organs that can help in transplants. This was not successful, though. Now, with monkeys, a greater chance of success is being predicted since monkeys share a better genetic similarity with humans.
According to a study published Thursday in the journal Cell, in the U.S and China, 25 pluripotent stem cells have been injected from humans into macaque monkeys’ embryos.
A day after this injection, human cells were detected by researchers to grow in 132 of the embryos. The embryos managed to survive for over 19 days.
There have been some concerns raised by bioethicists regarding the potential abuse of medical regulations that are currently governing the way animal and human subjects are being treated.
“My first question is: Why?” Kirstin Matthews, a science and technology fellow at Rice University’s Baker Institute, told NPR. “I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we’re just pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do.”
Researchers say that this research is only for the purpose of possibly saving countless lives in the future.
University of Michigan professor Jeffrey Platt, who was not involved in the study, says, “This work is an important step that provides very compelling evidence that someday when we understand fully what the process is, we could make them develop into a heart or a kidney or lungs.”