Researchers from China have successfully developed Monkey Pig hybrids as part of research into the growth of human organs for transplantation in animals.
According to reports, the two chimera piglets died within a week of being born. Scientists reported that both were found to have DNA from macaque monkeys in their liver, spleen, heart, lung, & skin. They were bred from approximately 4,000 embryos, which were implanted into a sow using In-Vito Fertilization.
A team of scientists from the State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology in Beijing developed the Monkey Pig Hybrids. They genetically modified monkey cells to produce a fluorescent protein allowing the researchers to track the cells and descendant cells.
These modified cells were injected into the pig embryos five days after fertilization. Ten piglets were born, of which 2 were chimeras- Monkey Pig Hybrids while the monkey cells made up only one in 1,000 & one in 10,000 of the remaining pig cells. The researchers are aiming to repeat the experiments to create healthy animals with higher concentrations of monkey DNA as well as to eventually reproduce an animal with an organ containing only monkey DNA.
The scientists believe that the results brought them one step closer to producing tissue-specific functional tissues and organs in a large animal model.
Monkey Pig Hybrids- Previously Developed Animal Hybrids
This is not the first time hybrid animals have been developed by Scientists. In 2010, a research team at Stanford University in California created mice with a rat pancreas.
You might have also heard about the Human-pig chimera. The Human-pig chimera was developed by scientists at the Salk Institute in California. Around one in 100,000 cells were reported to be of humans. The embryos were destroyed within a month.
According to the NHS Blood and Transplant organization, more than 6,000 patients are currently on the waiting list for organs in the UK.
Editor’s Note: Animal Hybrids, Monkey Pig Chimera