No, this is not a joke, nor a hoax article.
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A team of Chinese and American scientists and specialists in the field claimed that they have produced a series of human-monkey hybrid embryos. Their study was published on Thursday in the journal Cell and it raised a lot of bio-ethical questions, which is totally normal, regarding what they have announced!
The study was funded by the National Natural Science Foundation of China. Apparently, the team of scientists took a six-day-old macaque monkey embryos and injected 25 human cells into each of them.
“The type of human cells used are extended pluripotent stem cells, which can help develop both embryonic and extra-embryonic tissues, according to a Cell news release.”
In a new study, researchers generate human-monkey chimeric embryos that are able to develop for up to 20 days. Read more in @CellCellPress https://t.co/2sziQFn2mj#chimera #devbio#KunmingUniversity @salkinstitute pic.twitter.com/klR936o9A2
— Cell Press (@CellPressNews) April 15, 2021
“One of the major problems in medicine is organ transplantation,” Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, one of the study’s co-authors, told NPR. “The demand for that is much higher than the supply.”
Though the study was driven by altruistic goals – it has still raised a lot of issues, like, for example, what possibly potential side-effects in the creature could appear, what if it develops human emotions, etc…
“My first question is: Why?” Kirstin Matthews of 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 kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do.”
“Should it be regulated as human because it has a significant proportion of human cells in it? Or should it be regulated just as an animal? Or something else?” Matthews said. “At what point are you taking something and using it for organs when it actually is starting to think and have logic?”
“Nobody really wants monkeys walking around with human eggs and human sperm inside them,” Stanford University bioethicist Hank Greely told NPR. “Because if a monkey with human sperm meets a monkey with human eggs, nobody wants a human embryo inside a monkey’s uterus.”
The researchers conducted this study as part of an effort to discover new methods of creating organs for those in need of transplants.