2 chimera piglets that are bringing the DNA of a monkey have been born in China.
The baby animals had genetic material from cynomolgus monkeys in their liver, spleen, lung, skin, and heart.
Unfortunately, the 2 piglets died within a week even after appearing to be completely normal.
Chinese scientists said the research that required over 4,000 embryos to get the piglets in order to find effective ways of growing human organs inside animals for transplantation.
5-day old piglet embryos had monkey stem cells injected into them that had been adjusted to produce a fluorescent protein that allowed researchers to find out where the cells were going to.
Researchers said it was unclear what caused the 2 chimera piglets to die. There were 8 other normal piglets that were implanted with the same thing, they also died.
Researchers believe there is a problem with the IVF process.
The research has been criticized by the members of the scientific community due to ethical concerns.
Douglas Munoz, a Neuroscientist at the Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, said projects like these scare people ethically.
Douglas said, “For us to start to manipulate life functions in this kind of way without fully knowing how to turn it off, or stop it if something goes awry really scares me.”
But even after all the concerns, China is showing no signs of stopping.
In July this year, China proposed to create monkeys with partially human-derived brains in order to study illnesses such as the Alzheimer’s disease.
Alejandro De Los Angeles, a stem cell expert from Yale University, has written that the search for a better animal model to stimulate human diseases have been a holy grail of biomedical research for decades.
Alejandro said, “Realising the promise of human-monkey chimera research in an ethically and scientifically appropriate manner will require a coordinated approach.”
This is not the first time something unusual was done by scientists.
In January 2017, a human-pig hybrid embryo was created by scientists in San Fransisco, USA, but they died 28 days after they were born.
The hybrids were made with hopes of finding an alternative to organ donation.
The race continues to find potential replacements as 3 people die every day in the United Kingdom alone because organs cannot be found.
In the United States of America, 12 people die every day because hospitals fail to find organ replacements in the country.