Human stem cells placed inside monkeys’ embryos

Research on organ transplants has involved human stem cells being placed in the embryos of monkeys from the macaque species.

Since these stem cells have the ability to develop into various human tissues, research by a joint team made up of Chinese and American scientists has once again raised the debate about the ethics of such experiments.

The embryos used in the experiment were only allowed to develop up to 20 days, however the concerns revolve around other experiments in the future which might allow the embryos to develop further, and as a result create a chimera of a part human, part animal.

Prof Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, who in 2017 formed part of the team which created the first four week old embryo which was part human and part pig, said that this research followed legal and ethical guidelines and is very useful in the advancement of biomedical science.