In DepthBiomedicine

Lab-grown embryos mix human and monkey cells

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Science  16 Apr 2021:
Vol. 372, Issue 6539, pp. 223
DOI: 10.1126/science.372.6539.223

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Summary

Researchers have been inserting human stem cells into the embryos of other mammals in hopes of growing replacement organs for transplant. Scientists now describe the first so-called chimeras made by introducing human stem cells into monkey embryos. The researchers found that some of the embryos retained the human cells, which integrated with monkey cells and began to differentiate. The embryos turned on or turned up several molecular pathways, possibly providing clues about how to improve the procedures for growing organs in animals that would be good donors, such as pigs. The chimeras do not raise new ethical issues, bioethicists say, because they didn't develop for long enough to acquire a nervous system.

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