China successfully creates two pig-monkeys

It has the body of a piglet and cells from a monkey. Meet pig-monkey.

Ali Taghva Montreal QC

Scientists in China have successfully brought two piglets with monkey DNA to birth, although both died within a week.

“This is the first report of full-term pig-monkey chimeras,” said Tang Hai at the State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology in Beijing, according to the New Scientist.

So why did Scientists put monkey DNA in a pig?

They aim to use the work here to grow human organs in animals for transplantation, potentially saving many lives by reducing the need for a human to human organ transplant.

While the first test led to the death of all born pigs, including test subjects, the team believes the problem can be fixed over the long term, especially as IVF insemination, the process used for the chimeras, normally does not work well with pigs.

The team currently plans to increase the amount of donor DNA in the following tests, with the eventual goal of forcing an entire organ to be the same as the monkey donor.


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