Science definitely knows no boundaries! For the first time in history, researchers have succeeded in creating chimeric embryos with human and monkey cells! This is a real “achievement” that could open doors in the medical world. The scientists behind the research detailed it all in an article published in the journal Cell.
The experiments were carried out by an international team of researchers, some of whom are not on their first attempt to create chimeras. In their study, published in the journal Cell, the scientists reported that they injected 25 human “induced pluripotent stem cells” into nearly 130 six-day-old monkey embryos.
Amazing experiences and results
Contrary to all expectations, human cells quickly developed there after just one day. Ten days later, nearly a hundred of them were still alive and developing. Only three chimeras lasted to finish the experiments, which lasted 19 days in total. After that, the researchers voluntarily stopped the development of the embryos.
Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, co-author of the study and professor of genetics at the Salk Institute for Life Sciences in La Jolla, California, stated, “Our goal is not to create a new organism, not a monster […] We try to understand how cells from different organisms communicate with each other. “”
The chimeric contribution of human pluripotent stem cells extended to embryos. Photo credit: Tao Tan, Jun Wu, Chenyang Si, Shaoxing Dai, Youyue Zhang, Nianqin Sun, E Zhang, Honglian Shao, Wei Si, Pengpeng Yang, Hong Wang, Zhenzhen Chen, Ran Zhu, Yu Kang, Reyna Hernandez-Benitez, Llanos Martinez Martinez, Estrella Nuñez Delicado, W. Travis Berggren et al.
The aim of the experiments is to investigate the possibilities of “culturing” human cells in an animal organism. ‘This knowledge will enable us now to go back and try to reorganize the pathways that will allow human cells to properly develop in these other animals,’ said Professor Belmonte solemnly.
Promising Advances In Organ Transplants?
Ultimately, the researchers believe that their work may one day make it possible to “grow” organs for transplantation. Additionally, you should know that this isn’t the first time scientists have attempted the experiment of creating half-human, half-animal chimeras. For example, in 2017 they succeeded in introducing human cells into pig embryos and thus creating human-pig chimeras.
In any case, in relation to the experiments described in this article, researchers are more motivated than ever to continue their work and revolutionize science! Indeed, the rapid growth of human cells in monkey embryos represents an interesting breakthrough when we know that “The creation of human-animal chimeras in the past has suffered from poor efficiency and integration of human cells into species. Host ”, as Professor Belmonte explains. It remains to be seen whether patients will one day agree to an organ transplant that contains monkey DNA … To be continued.