Some experts in the United States and China were able to achieve the first human-monkey embryos. These mixed embryos or chimeras are currently great innovations since they can be used by other scientists in the future, especially in the medical industry.
These embryos were put in test tubes for around 20 days, as explained by the involved scientists in a joint research team from China and the U.S.
"This is not a work of bad taste, but [one] of highly practical value," said the lead author of the new study, Tan Tao.
"A remarkable step has been taken scientifically that raises urgent issues of public concern. We need to figure out what the right pathway forward is to help guide responsible progress," added Nita Farahany, a bioethicist of Duke University.
Why These Human-Monkey embryos are alarming
According to The Wall Street Journal, various experts and researchers have already created part-human chimeras for the past few years. They used rats with human tumors to study cancer, mice with human immune systems to conduct AIDS research, and more.
However, some experts explained that the new study is quite different from the previous animal researches since it injected human stem cells into an embryo of a closely related primate. They said that these could lead to any kind of tissue.
On the other hand, Professor Julian Savulescu, the Uehiro Chair of the University of Oxford's practical ethics, said that these chimeras could be mentally close to a human. He added that the current study could also open Pandora's box.
What happened during the new study
The new study, which was published by the Cell journal, injected human stem cells into the early-stage embryos of crab-eating macaques. However, these didn't work out properly since most of the human-monkey embryos died during the experiment.
However, around 4% or 7% of these chimeras were able to survive the process. Although this could be a small number to other people, researchers explained that this is a great improvement since previous chimera experiments only had a 1% survival rate.
If you want to know more about the study "Chimeric contribution of human extended pluripotent stem cells to monkey embryos," all you need to do is click this link.
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Written by: Griffin Davis