- Human-pig embryos have been successfully developed for the first time ever
- It is considered an important breakthrough for future human organ developments inside animals
- But some are viewing potential drawbacks to this technique
A team of U.S. researchers have announced they are on the brink of developing whole human organs inside pigs. The scientists are using a revolutionary technique known as gene editing.
These part human, part pig organisms have been successfully created by injecting human stem cells into pig embryos.
Nevertheless, they still only contain a very small amount of human tissue. There is still a way to go before whole organs made of human cells entirely are ready for transplantation.
Some are claiming this revolutionary technique could be the answer to the world's organ transplant shortage, but experts have also also raised ethical concerns.
Dr David King, Director of Human Genetics Alert, has declared he finds these experiments “disturbing.” Not only it could mean that pig diseases might be carried into the human population, but also he feels there are phsychological and philosophical “concerns about mixing species”.
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Nevertheless, this breakthrough is been considered by many experts as an important step in the goal to grow human organs in other animals. This technique will allow for humans not to reject the transplanted organ.