- Scientists in Japan has received government permission to grow human organs in animals for the first study of its kind in the country.
- The research involves genetically modifying sheep or pig embryos so they cannot grow a specific organ.Human induced pluripotent stem(iPS) cells are then injected into the embryo in the hope that the DNA will fill in the missing code.
- The hybrid embryos would then be implanted back into the original animal or a surrogate and the baby animal would be born with a human organ.
- This is the first step towards a future where human organs for transplant could be grown inside animals.
- However,critics have argued that the human cells could stray beyond the targeted organs into other areas of the animal effectively creating a creature that is part animal,part person.
- Further,many animals such as pigs have a shorter lifespan than humans, meaning that their tissues age at a quicker rate.Disease transmission and permanent alteration to the genetic code of animals are also causes for concern.
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