Researchers Experiment Creation of Human-Pig ‘Chimera Embryos’ to Address Shortage of Donor Organs

LA JOLLA, Calif. — A team of biologists at the Salk Institute in California has reportedly created the first-ever human-pig chimeras in an effort to test the idea of growing organs in animals that can later be used in human transplants.

“This biomedical advance has long been a dream and a quandary for scientists hoping to address a critical shortage of donor organs,” National Geographic writes. “Every ten minutes, a person is added to the national waiting list for organ transplants. And every day, 22 people on that list die without the organ they need. What if, rather than relying on a generous donor, you could grow a custom organ inside an animal instead?”

The concept of creating the hybrids, which are less than .001 percent human, involves injecting human stem cells collected from the patient’s skin inside of a small pig embryo, which is then implanted in a sow. The organ, grown for one month, would then be harvested from the pig and transplanted into the waiting patient.

The results of the study, “Interspecies Chimerism with Mammalian Pluripotent Stem Cells,” were published in the scientific journal “Cell” this week.

“Besides gaining insights into species evolution, embryogenesis, and human disease, interspecies blastocyst complementation might allow human organ generation in animals whose organ size, anatomy, and physiology are closer to humans,” it reads in part.

The team at the Salk Institute attempted to use rat cells to create the pig chimeras, but the test was unsuccessful. The study was also conducted in cattle.

“The pig has certain advantages over cattle for experiments involving post-implantation embryos, as they are a polytocus species, and are commonly used as a translational model given their similarities to humans concerning organ physiology, size, and anatomy,” the report explains of its findings.

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But the experiment also had its challenges as out of the 2,075 embryos implanted, only 186 survived, and had an estimated “one in 100,000 human cells.” There are also questions over whether or not the human body would reject the hybrid organs since they are primarily composed of pig cells.

However, the study concluded that in addition to helping scientists learn more about embryogenesis and human diseases, “[u]ltimately, these observations also raise the possibility of xeno-generating transplantable human tissues and organs towards addressing the worldwide shortage of organ donors.”

“This is the first time that human cells are seen growing inside a large animal,” Professor and Salk Institute team member Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte told BBC News.

But he also recognized the ethical concerns surrounding the matter.

“We are restricting development to one month in the pig, the reason is this is enough for us now to understand how cells mix, differentiate and integrate. One possibility is to let these animals be born, but that is not something we should allow to happen at this point,” Belmonte explained. “Not everything that science can do we should do. We are not living in a niche in lab; we live with other people—and society needs to decide what can be done.”


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  • Amos Moses

    Nephilim ……….

    Ge 11:6 And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.

    • antifasciste

      The etiological myth you refer to loses relevance given the magic and mystery of language translation.

      • Robert

        Yes ,Nephilim most likly refers to Famous or men of renown. Or having Giant reputations . So you could say the nephilim scientists of this day made a fake (no soul )human pig like thing to harvest its organs.

      • Amos Moses

        yeah ……. no …….. no evidence it is a myth ………. in fact SCIENCE is bringing it about ….. so it is real …..

        • antifasciste

          By citing Genesis 11:6, are you suggesting or predicting something analogous to the myth of the Tower of Babel will happen in modern science?

          • Amos Moses

            scripture says it will ……….. so not a prediction …… a sure thing …… but do you accept scripture … that is the question ……… and Babel is not a “myth” …. it is located in Iraq …. and the site is visible on Google Earth …..

            32°32’10.73″N
            44°25’15.37″E

          • antifasciste

            Scripture IS, whether I accept it or not, however, what suspect I will never accept is your skewed subjective interpretation. Are you aware of the distinction between allegory and objective historical facts?

          • Amos Moses

            never asked you to accept what i said ……. more important that you accept the scriptures, brother ….. but scripture is not allegory …. it is historical fact …. which part do you dispute ……..

    • Robert

      God confused the languages because of Chimera embryos. We’re coming in 2027 lol. .
      No God confused the languages back then their human achiebmemts (works)self righteousness. THEY were forgetting the promise of a savior coming that would save them from their sins . Work righteousness were still trying to get to heaven by it it still is a big problem even after Jesus’s was born.. I’m one of those scripture interprets scripture Lutherans. Your interpretation was more entertaining though.

      • Amos Moses

        “THEY were forgetting the promise of a savior coming that would save them from their sins .”

        the tower of babel preceded Abraham ….. and while there was a promise in Gen 3 of a savior …. it was not yet written down …… until Moses did so ……. so not sure you have a valid point ……..

        but the connection was not to structures ….. although DNA is a structure created by God and it is being used to a nefarious purpose …. it is the breaking of the barriers God has put in place ……. and the Nephilim were a hybird creation who left their first estate and took human women to use their DNA ……….

        • Robert

          They were forgetting the promise of a savior to come written down or not .The bible does how ever mention a little book we no longer have.
          Luther believed Moses received a little book also that told him about the creation of the world by God ,after all Moses was not there at the beginning.

          .God certainly could have told Moses about creation by way of a little book we no longer have.

          • Amos Moses

            okay …. Moses spoke directly to God …. not some mind meld …. not some trance …. spoken words ….. and i like Luther …. in fact i am probably closer to a Wisconsin Synod in belief ….. but Luther did not get everything correct …. but certainly far more than he got wrong ……

            the point being ….. there was no need for a “little book” ….. they spoke directly to each other ………

          • Robert

            I wasn’t there and Luther was not there ..would you mind telling us about what you saw taking place when God told Moses about creation. Was it simular to Moses ten Comandment experience? Yet did not God write those down, and them gave them to Moses?

          • Robert

            Adam might have wrote in a little book every thing God directed him to about creation and more and that book was safe guarded and passed down to Moses.And now long lost as the book of Jasher.

          • Amos Moses

            might have …. but there is no scripture that says that …. unless you can show one ………. and God had no need ….. He had Moses ……….

          • Robert

            GOD HAD no need to tell Moses since he may have used Adams little book to do it. Like you say we do not know how God inspired moses to write down Gods absolute truths the bible simply does not say.

          • Amos Moses

            if it is not in scripture …. it is adding to scripture …. i can find no little book …. i can find God talking directly to Moses and the Nation of Israel ….. and i can find Moses writing down what God said …………. directly ………

          • Robert

            Oh chimera embryos !! You can’t find God talking to Moses about creation any where in the bible. YOu don’t know or me or Luther how God comucated his truths about creation or some other things to Moses. And if you want to interpret the bible so itmakes you freak out about every new medical advances that come along. that’s your business also.

          • Amos Moses

            i know there is no “little book” mentioned ……….. and i know God spoke directly to Moses .. it is in scripture ……..

          • Robert

            The tease begins well chmiera embryos were never in scripture untill you found them there.And now there hiding under your crib to in your blanky.

          • Amos Moses

            they were always there …. you missed them … read Daniel … read Revelation ……..

        • Robert

          I’m not familiar with tethe teaching that netphilim were a hybreed creation that left their first estate and took women to use their DNA . What denomination teachs that ? , I will look the verse up using the kretzmann project commentary on the web.

          • Amos Moses

            “I’m not familiar with the teaching that nephilim were a hybreed creation that left their first estate and took women to use their DNA . What denomination teachs that ?”

            Scripture teached that … they took wives and made children who were giants …. of which Goliath was one … how did they do that without DNA ……..
            6:1 And it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born unto them,
            6:2 That the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair; and they took them wives of all which they chose.
            6:3 And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always strive with man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years.
            6:4 There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown.

          • Robert

            Well you can go to the kretzmann bible commentary websites any time you want and see how we more simply understand these passages. I certainly would not think I was a better christian than you do to the way you interpret this scripture. I just find it more complicated to defend considering scripture interprets scripture clear passages shedding light on less clear passages ( Less clear due to inherited sin.)

          • Takeahardright

            Read the book of Enoch.

  • Robert

    The one thing that distinguishes humans from all else is the eternal soul that is accountable to God. GOD GIVES SOULS (after Adam and eve fall into sin ) BY WAY OF human parents that are fully human with souls them selves. If. ,? This way if any thing beats taking a real human life ,
    for the purpose of salvaging the person’s organs or use able genes stem cells etc .ONLY THEN would it be better.

  • Robert

    Ethically if no human life is lost making these things .. I would think most Christians would recognize chimera’s as not being human and there for souless. The cloning of a replica human would be much more disturbing.Because of the question do or don’t they have souls.? And then killing might be realy murder to harvest the clones organs .

  • Grace Kim Kwon

    May God forbid. Scientists should stop placing human genes and cells into stuff and defile the land by murder. ( Genesis chapter 4-6) It brings down God’s wrath upon the land.

  • Robert

    God’s commandments are very clear . So far every one against this have given not one comandment forbidding this.And the article says there are not enough organ donors . And theses scientist are concerned and do not want these things BORN. DO TO ethical concerns .So they are not trying to play God either.
    ALSO the scriptures used by those that do not want this are not very convincing since they do not deal with this subject. And we all know adding to or subtracting from scripture should not be done. Why can’t those who don’t want this Just say they personally do not think this is right because of the mixing of human and anamal DNA they think God would be against.

  • Robert

    God made the animals before he made Adam and Eve. Yet we sea lot of the same basic features in some of the animals . Hearts lungs feet even hands faces in fact some of the monkeys and apes almost look likus because God used some of that designing when he made humans.So now we have scientist that by their God given brains recognize this and are able to help a person.

  • Robert

    I can hear it now you can’t be a member of our churchier than your old church.Because we know You have a Chimenera Lung and that left ear lobe looks a little suspicious to not to mention your left nostrils looks more ape like than we perfer also. those weirdp lutherans down the street will take you
    Ya just got to take their endless bible classes first.

  • Robert

    IF YOUR Muslim YOU will not be happy with any thing that once was considered bacon keeping you alive. No replacent pig heart valves for you. Or chimera pig DNA.

  • Nidalap

    Just another consequence of not upholding the sanctity of human life…

  • Robert

    This medical advance sounds promising and does not destroy human life. Right now a quick web search reveals the present donor system does favors the more financially well off. NOTHING BEATS a original working human part yet this sounds lile it could be the next best thing
    Would it not be great for a child to be able to go to Sunday school or read the bible or heat about it their savior from sin Jesus because of this pioneer work. Lots of prayers may soon be answered do to this work. We can thank the Lord for this break through . He gave the scientist their brains to be able to figure things out to the good of God’s people.