Chinese Lab Births The World’s First Monkey-Pig Hybrids

There is a high chance that the existence of cross-bred animals will be normality in the coming years as experiments are being done on regular bases.

To this effect, it has been reported that two chimera piglets containing monkey DNA have been born in China.

Although both died within a week and appeared to be normal, the baby animals had genetic material from cynomolgus monkeys in their heart, liver, spleen, lung, and skin, Daily Mail reports.

Scientists said the research, which required more than 4,000 embryos to get the piglets, aims to find ways of growing human organs in animals for transplantation.

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‘This is the first report of full-term monkey-pig chimeras’, Tang Hai at the State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology in Beijing told New Scientist.

Five-day old piglet embryos had monkey stem cells injected into them that had been adjusted to produce a flourescent protein, allowing researchers to find out where the cells ended up.

The scientists said it was unclear why the two chimera piglets died, but as eight other normal piglets that were implanted also died, they think this is a problem with the IVF process rather than chimerism.

20th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph