Researchers for the first time have created embryos in the lab that contain both human and monkey cells.
Why it matters: So-called chimeric embryos could help scientists produce organs for people desperately in need of transplants, but the very act of mixing human and animal cells raises major ethical questions.
- Over 100,000 people in the U.S. alone are waiting for lifesaving organ transplants, and organ donations decreased significantly during the early months of the pandemic.
What’s new: In a study published Thursday, researchers in the U.S. and China injected 25 induced pluripotent stem cells from humans into embryos from macaque monkeys.
- After a single day, the researchers could detect human cells growing in 132 of the embryos, known as chimeras because they are a mix of species.
- The embryos survived for 19 days.
- The work provided the scientists with insight into how the human and monkey cells communicated in the chimeric embryos, which in turn could help them learn to grow organs for human transplantation in animals.
Read more at Axios.