Researchers claim to have made the world’s first human-monkey hybrid using groundbreaking scientific techniques.
The human-monkey embryos, in which human cells are added to the monkey embryos, were made by scientists in China. They hope the breakthrough will eventually create an endless supply of human organs for transplants.
Yet, critics have cautioned that this development will make “aggravating” difficulties over the morals of human-animal hybrids. The project was driven by Spanish researcher Juan Carlos Izpisua in a lab in China, project coordinator Estrella Nunez told El Pais.
The team was made up of members of the Salk Institute in California, US, and the Murcia Catholic University (UCAM) in Spain. The experiment raises ethical issues as other scientists fear the stem cells would develop a human central nervous system in the animal.
Izpisua said: “From UCAM and the Salk Institute we are now trying not only to move forward and continue experimenting with human cells and rodent and pig cells but also with non-human primates. Our country is a pioneer and a world leader in these investigations.”
Nunez, a biologist and vice-chancellor of the research team at UCAM, said: “The results are very promising, the team has created a mechanism ‘so that if human cells migrate to the brain, they will self-destruct’.