In order to create short-lived hybrid organisms that could be an important step in the growth of human organs for cattle transplants or in the creation of better animal models for studying human disease, a group of scientists has successfully introduced human stem cells. in monkey embryos in the laboratory .
Human / monkey chimeras , organisms containing cells from two or more species, survived up to 20 days in Petri dishes. It’s not Planet of the Apes , but it’s coming.
Better than pig chimeras
Specifically, 132 monkey embryos were taken , and each one was injected with 25 human stem cells. After 10 days, 103 of the chimeric embryos were still developing. Survival soon began to decline and by the 19th only three chimeras were still alive.
Attempts to create human / pig chimeras have only been partially successful because 90 million years of evolutionary history separate the two species. However, human / monkey chimeras could provide clues that would allow scientists to make the leap to pigs or cattle.
Human / animal chimeras could also help by filling in the blanks in our understanding of early human development after conception and enhancing the study of how viruses, bacteria, and drugs interact with humans.
There was no possibility that these embryos had become living beings . They were not implanted in the uterus for pregnancy. And even if they were, the differences in the reproductive timeline of humans and monkeys would likely have doomed their chances of survival.