Tuesday, 25 Jun, 2013 Science

Growing Human-Animal Hybrids for Organs to Become Legal in Japan


Japanese government is about to give green light to scientists who look forward to growing human organs in animal bodies.

A team of researchers led by Hiromitsu Nakauchi of the University of Tokyo, managed to come up with a process for creating a "chimeric embryo" by introducing a human stem cell inside the body of an animal embryo (which in such cases is usually a pig).

This process will allow scientists to grow human-animal hybrid that can be used to grow human organs.

Scientists want to introduce the embryo in a female pig's womb. This will induce pregnancy and lead to the creation of a pig "equipped" human organs (for example, a pancreas or liver).

Inside the body of the pig organs would mature as it develops. After it is slaughtered scientists will harvest the chimera's organs and then transplant them.

Currently the creation of a chimeric embryo is considered legal, but implanting the embryo in an animal's womb is not. At the moment a Japanese regulatory body is analyzing all pros and cons to decide whether to permit planting chimeric embryos in animals or not.

Scientists believe that very soon such procedure will be legal.

[via Physorg]

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