Η research involved the creation of human-pig chimeric embryos containing a combination of human and pig cells. When transferred to surrogate mother pigs, the developing embryos were shown to yield kidneys containing mostly human cells, marking the first time scientists have grown a solid humanized organ inside another animal.
But the kidneys weren't entirely human, as they included blood vessels and nerves made mostly of pig cells, meaning they couldn't be used for transplant in their current form.
It is unclear whether the challenge of making an entirely human organ is feasible with current genetic engineering techniques.
Apart from the kidneys, the embryos were dominated by pig cells, with very few human cells in their brains or central nervous systems.
Το δυναμικό ενός εξανθρωπισμένου εγκεφάλου είναι ένα πολύ σοβαρό ηθικό δίλημμα για την έρευνα που αφορά τα υβριδικά έμβρυα και ένας από τους λόγους για τους αυστηρούς νομικούς περιορισμούς που υπάρχουν για την συγκεκριμένη έρευνα σε πάρα πολλές countries.
After being cultured in the laboratory, the chimeric embryos were transferred to 13 surrogate sows. After 25 or 28 days, pregnancy was terminated, embryos were extracted and evaluated.
The embryos had structurally normal kidneys for their stage of development, with the tubules that would eventually connect the kidney to the bladder composed of 50-60% human cells. Human nerve cells were also found in the brain and spinal cord.
The research published in the journal Cell Stem Cell.