In a controversial first, a team of researchers have been creating embryos that are part human and part monkey, reports the Spanish daily El País.
Daring biologist: According to the newspaper, the Spanish-born biologist Juan Carlos Izpisúa Belmonte, who operates a lab at the Salk Institute in California, has been working working with monkey researchers in China to perform the disturbing research.
Making chimeras: The technique for making chimeras involves injecting human embryonic stem cells into a days-old embryo of another species. The hope is that the human cells will grow along with the embryo, adding to it. . .
Because monkeys are genetically closer to humans, it’s possible that such experiments could now succeed. To give the human cells a better chance of taking hold, scientists also use gene-editing technology to disable the formation of certain types of cells in the animal embryos. . .
So far, no part-human part-monkey has been born. Instead, the mixed embryos are only being allowed to develop for a week or two in the lab, at which time they can be studied. That is according to Estrella Núñez, a biologist and administrator at the Catholic University of Murcia, in Spain, who told El País her university is helping to fund the research. (Read more from “Scientists Are Making Human-Monkey Hybrids in China” HERE)