Scientists Just Created the First Ever Human-Monkey Embryo


| LAST UPDATE 06/17/2021

By Sharon Renee
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Scientists have just made a major breakthrough! For the first time ever, researchers have successfully created a human-monkey embryo. Here's what we know so far about the groundbreaking research...

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Published in the scientific journal Cell, the experiment documented the successful creation of the first human-monkey chimera. Led by Salk Institute for Biological Studies professor, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a group of researchers formed an embryo made up of both human and non-human primate cells. As for what that called for?

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During the ground-breaking experiment, scientists injected human stem cells into embryos derived from a macaque. They were then allowed to grow the resulting embryo in a carefully curated lab, before being destroyed after 20 days. The remarkable trial was years in the making, after decades of work and research dedicated towards the field.

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During their time in the lab, researchers studied “different signals that the nascent cells send out to spark development from a single fertilized cell into the millions of cells and multiple tissues and organs that comprise a human,” Time reported. As Belmonte explained, he hopes the scientific work will help provide a better understanding of human development.

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More specifically, the research will help provide a better understanding of "biological mysteries" - including, of course, "gaps in knowledge about early development." But while human-monkey embryos might help unlock centuries worth of mysteries, including answers to incurable human diseases, there's one problem with this approach. Human-monkey chimeras would have to be born in order to properly get us closer to such answers.

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Of course, in doing so, that would welcome a slew of ethical concerns. Luckily, as Belmonte has assured, he'll be abiding by his morals throughout the entire process. "We are not going to use monkeys to create human organs inside monkeys,” he assured of a potential part of his research. "We need to not do every experiment that we can do, but move forward in ways that are legally and ethically allowed." Stay updated Belmonte continues with his remarkable study...