Scientists Introduce Hybrid Human-Pig Embryos
After many years of research, scientists have successfully produced the first-ever human-pig hybrid. Why is this important?
It could change the future of organ transplants for humans.
Many researchers have been working on growing the organs of one animal inside of a different species of animal. For example, scientists recently grew a mouse pancreas inside of a rat successfully. Using similar methods, it might be possible to grow human organs in a pig.
After testing about 1,500 pig embryos, they discovered that certain types of human stem cells would spread throughout the embryo. Many of the cells that took over would develop into the heart, liver, and kidneys.
Watch the video below to learn more about this incredible breakthrough.
Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte at La Jolla’s Salk Institute for Biological Studies, and his team of researchers, have successfully introduced pluripotent human stem cells into pig blastocysts that then developed into a viable embryo. The stem cells took up residence in the spaces that would indicate development of human-compatible organs including the heart, liver, and kidneys. Current regulations prevent the scientists from allowing the embryo to continue to develop, but this research offers promise in the quest to one day eliminate organ transplantation waiting lists. Video of the Week on TDC.
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