Scientists working in China and the U.S. have successfully grown chimeric embryos that were created by injecting human cells into the embryos of monkeys for a considerable length of time amid ethical concerns.
A human-animal chimera is a lifeform that is part-human and part-animal. Theoretically, it can develop into an animal with both animal and human cells when implanted into the uterus of an animal.
In this study, researchers grew human-monkey chimeras in lab dishes for up to about 20 days.
It is hoped that this research will potentially help to understand developmental biology and evolution better. The attempt is at creating models that will make the study of human biology and disease easier and more accurate.
“An important goal of experimental biology is the development of model systems that allow for the study of human diseases under in vivo conditions,” said Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, senior author and a professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences.
The research appeared in the journal Cell.