Scientists are working on a new task to grow human organs in farm animals. They are planning to form embryos partly of human and animals.
According to Fox News, the scientists target to save terminally-ill patients by transplanting a hybrid embryo, which would need gene-editing to produce a new organ. This embryo is called Chimera.
In order to form one embryo, scientists plan to insert human stem cells inside the pig’s embryos. The process could develop a human organ such as the pancreas.
“We’re not trying to make a chimera just because we want to see some kind of monstrous creature. We’re doing this for a biomedical purpose,”says Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist at the University of California, Davis, to NPR.
Ross experimented in his lab on how to create pancreas inside farm animals.
The process requires gene-editing techniques to remove a gene from pig’s embryo to form pancreas.
During his trial experiment, he penetrated the outer membrane of the embryo and made a hole. Thereafter he removed the pancreas gene by placing a synthesised molecule.
Following the edition, he made another hole in the membrane to insert human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS). This process reduces the chances of failure in the formation of organs. The embryo can then help form any kind of human cells and tissues.
According to scientists, the hybrid transplant opens new opportunities for humankind. However, some bioethicists and scientists think that it could damage the sense of humanity.
“You’re getting into an unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity,” says Stuart Newman, a professor at the New York Medical College.
However, the funding of the project has now been blocked though the project is looking into the future complications in humans. The embryo could also help the scientists study the progression of human diseases.