Photo credit: Xinhua/Sipa USA
It’s true, Spanish scientist Juan Carlos Izpisua and his team has managed to create the world’s first monkey-human chimera in a China-based laboratory. Estrella Nunez, a biologist at the Catholic University of Murcia (UCAM), claimed they injected human stem cells into monkey embryos to grow organs for transplantation. The monkey embryos were genetically modified to inactivate the genes necessary for forming organs and injected human cells that are capable of generating any type of tissue. Read more for a video about a similar experiment and additional information.
Fortunately, the team did not allow any monkey chimeras with human cells to be born, but rather stopped the pregnancies. Unfortunately, Nunez and her fellow scientists have not revealed any further details ahead of publications in international scientific magazines, but said the results were “very promising”. The team managed to create chimeras of mice and rats in a previous experiment by using the CRISPR genetic editing technique to eliminate genes necessary for the development of the heart, eyes, and pancreas in mouse embryos, while inserting rat stem cells instead.