Scientists are locked in debate over the necessity of creating chimera embryos that contain both monkey and human cells.
A study released on Thursday showed that human cells can indeed grow when implanted inside macaque monkey embryos. The goal of the research is to find ways to develop human organs and tissue that can be used for transplants. But some scientists are urging caution and question the need for this type of research at all.
The study took 132 monkey embryos and injected them with human stem cells. Scientists used a process that allowed them to develop monkey embryos for up to 20 days in a lab. Only three of the embryos made it to day 19 before they collapsed. What was most exciting to the scientists involved is that the human and monkey cells were able to communicate with one another, allowing the human cells to survive.
Past research has shown that trying to grow human cells in pigs or sheep yields far less stunning results, though humans and macaques are much more…