In a bid to make organs for patients in need of transplants, scientists have created embryos that were hybrids of humans and pigs and grown them until they were on the verge of developing the body parts that might one day save lives.
Researchers reported Thursday in the journal Cell that they injected pig embryos with human stem cells that were capable of developing into a wide range of tissues. Those composite embryos were then transferred into the wombs of mother pigs.
By the time the scientists harvested the embryos after four weeks, the human stem cells had established beachheads throughout the developing pigs. As a blob of fetal pig tissue reached the cusp of developing into a cluster of distinct organs, human cells appeared throughout the tiny organism, ready to contribute to the generation of organs.Does anyone else find this troubling?