At the University of CA and also in China a study/research was done through combining a person’s stem cell and a pig embryo. This practice was done to see if for future use a pig could be used to provide life saving treatments and transplants for people. This is done through a human’s stem cell and a pig’s DNA being combined. This animal was then killed at 28 days of life. This university believed that if they allowed this pig/ stem cells of a person to continue to grow it would have looked like a pig and acted like one but would have had a human organ in it. For the scientific lovers out there, I need to share how the chimera was created as the scientist used gene-editing on the part of the pig embryo that they needed to take out in order for the pig to grow a pancreas. Scientists have the capacity to do a lot of research but not all research is actually ethical or truly research at all. My next question would be who, why, how and where is the university getting the pig embryos and how are they given permission???? Also if the stem cell is coming from an adult what document does the person have to sign to have a stem cell donated, and what does the doctor tell the patient their stem cell is being implanted inside of? These are all important questions and shows that the IVF industry has deep roots within all of medicine as they destroy, which is evil, human beings who are at the smallest stage in life. In this situation they didn’t use human children at the embryonic level to do the experiment but often times children are used for other “research.” I feel that using animals for research is awful. I realize that the stem cells in this research are from a human’s stem cell. This cell is either from an adult’s stem cell or a child who was considered “not qualified” for implantation at an IVF clinic and was then taken for “research.” Then tissue from a human’s stem cell was injected inside a pig. This is called iPS, human introduced pluripotent. The researchers are not aware of what the cell can turn into as the pig embryo hasn’t developed its immune system yet. The scientific hope is that the stem cell would follow and do what the pig embryo chemical cues are and then the tissues would develop differently in the pig fetus. A fetus pig is clearly a pig at a later stage of development. I was researching trying to figure out when that fetus stage began for a pig as A. the article is implying that the pig will be researched on for a longer period of time than even the embryonic stage. Also, I was wondering how long the fetus stage was out of curiosity to see how long that would mean a scientist may potentially keep a pig fetus alive? In laymen terms the research is done/chimera is made as the scientist makes a hole in the pigs DNA so that they can implant the human stem cell but they do not know what other tissues will come of it so there has been some concern with wondering if the pig could have the brain, intelligence, of a person if the pig were to grow full term. Now this has been said by a researcher that this concern will probably not occur. There are many uncertainties with this process, from my perspective. The article states, “But what we don’t know, and this is what they need to look at, is whether the human cells can also contribute substantially to other tissues, and particularly they are worried about the brain,” said Robin Lovell-Badge, a geneticist at the Francis Crick Institute in London.” There were attempts to make more embryos but the US National Institute of Health said that they would not approve the research as they don’t know the effects yet. The goal is for the pig to almost be the vehicle for the pancreas to grow on its own on the pig so that it can be used for transplants. There are issues which are causing concern that the pancreas having cell types from this pig inside it could make it so the transplant would not work for the patient. There is another huge issue that can arise which would be the patient’s body rejecting the transplant as there would be human cells that would change the pig embryo which of course would then make it so the patient’s body would reject the transplant. It was interesting as the next potential risk in having this transplant was the same risk I was contemplating before reading and it was that the animals virus would be inside the human. This article then stated, “A pig was said to be an “ideal incubator” for human organs and Walter Low, a professor in the department of neurosurgery, University of Minnesota, told the BBC that researchers wanted to create not just a pancreas – the current focus – but also hearts, livers, kidneys, lungs and corneas.
Prof George Church, who has led similar research into the possible use of chimeras, told the broadcaster: “It opens up the possibility of not just transplantation from pigs to humans but the whole idea that a pig organ is perfectible.
“Gene editing could ensure the organs are very clean, available on demand and healthy, so they could be superior to human donor organs.””
CNN has a story that seems similar to the story in CA. See below:
“Current Time 1:29
- Salk Institute researchers grow a rat pancreas, rat heart and rat eyes within a developing mouse
- Using stem cells, they generate human cells and human tissues in the embryos of pigs and cattle
Using stem cell technologies, researchers generated human cells and human tissues in the embryos of pigs and cattle. Their research appeared in the journal Cell
Despite this milestone, integrating cells from human and animal species is proving difficult, and developing human organs remains at a considerable distance, said Dr. Jun Wu, a staff scientist in the gene expression laboratory at the Salk Institute and first author of the research.
“Species evolve independently, and many factors dictating the developmental programs might have diverged, which makes it difficult to blend cells from one species to a developing embryo from another,” Wu said. “The larger the evolutionary distance, the more difficult for them to mix.”
Or as senior author Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in Salk’s gene expression laboratory, sees it, “To try to imitate nature is not that easy.”
Building block experiments
The project began with the research team attempting to prove that it could grow one animal’s organ cells within a different species of animal. This is known as a chimera — specifically an interspecies chimera, an organism containing cells from two or more species.
They began with two closely related species: rats and mice.
To create a rat-mouse chimera, the scientists began by creating a mouse embryo without a pancreas.
Similar work had been done before by other scientists, notably Hiromitsu Nakauchi, now at Stanford, who bred mutant mice that lacked a pancreas and then grew a rat pancreas inside a mouse.
In the current study, Belmonte, Wu and their colleagues used gene-editing techniques known as CRISPR/Cas9 to generate mice embryos lacking a pancreas. Then they inserted rat stem cells that contained a gene for the pancreas into these mutant embryos.
Once implanted, the stem cells developed into a rat pancreas within a mouse embryo that ultimately (and importantly) grew into a healthy mouse with a normal lifespan. Taking their idea a few steps further, the researchers used the same method to develop rat eyes and rat hearts within mice embryos.
“We demonstrated the robustness of this system,” Wu said. By “genetically disabling” the mouse host, they proved it was possible to generate rat organs within a host species.
Unexpectedly to the researchers, the mice delivered bonus organs after the injection of rat stem cells: gallbladders, which are present in mice but not in rats.
“This suggests that rats lack a gallbladder not because of an inherent genetic deficiency of rat cells,” Wu said. Instead, “embryonic niches” may be orchestrating the tissues and organs that develop and grow within each animal species.
After the rat-mice experiments, the team turned its focus to human stem cells.
Small but significant
They began by generating different types of human induced pluripotent stem cells — when adult cells are turned back into stem cells — and inserting them into pig embryos. Pigs were used because both the size and the development time for their organs are more similar to our own than, say, rats.
Next, the team members implanted these embryos into sows. To test the safety and effectiveness of their work, they stopped the experiment at four weeks.
Human cells within some of the embryos had begun to specialize and turn into tissue precursors, they discovered. However, the success rate and level of human stem cell contributions in pigs was much lower than with the rat-mouse chimeras.
Wu cautioned that the research is in its very early stages, and with many challenges ahead, the development of human organs within animals may not be possible for some time.
Though the experiment with human stem cells was interrupted at 28 days, it remains the first reported case in which human stem cells have begun to grow within another species. So it is a small but significant step toward the ultimate goal of growing human organs in animals, said Insoo Hyun
, an associate professor of bioethics and philosophy at Case Western Reserve University.
“They just wanted to see if the cells would survive during gestation, and they did, and they kind of migrated here and there to various sites, except the brain, which is interesting,” said Hyun, who was not involved in the research.
Hyun, who worked on developing international guidelines for the International Society for Stem Cell Research, said the Salk Institute researchers appear to be staying within international ethical boundaries.
“The next step would be then to see if they can get better at localizing where the human cells develop and, ideally, getting to organ genesis,” he noted.
“The interesting thing is, it was not funded by American taxpayer money,” Hyun said, at least not directly. The primary funding came from private Spanish sources.
One reason for this is the US National Institutes of Health examined chimera science in a 2015 workshop and “accompanied that with a pause” on funding of a “very narrow subset of animal human chimera research,” said Carrie D. Wolinetz, the institutes’ associate director for science policy.
This subset consists of scientists introducing human cells into animal embryos at a very early stage.
“There has been the use of human-animal chimeras in biomedical research for a very long time. We’ve introduced human cells into animal models to create models of human diseases and used them as research tools for decades now,” Wolinetz said.
“But over time, what we’ve seen — as stem cell technology has advanced and as gene editing technology has advanced — we’ve seen the ability to create more sophisticated animal-human chimeras at a much earlier stage of embryonic development,” she said.
The reason, then, the National Institutes of Health suspended funding was over ethical concerns.
The chimeras used in biomedical research have been created, typically, by putting the human cells in at a later stage of development: at the fetal stage or even after birth. At these stages, scientists have a lot more control in that the cells stay where they are put, and they don’t “drift all over” the animal’s body, explained Wolinetz.
In these new experiments, human cells are being introduced at a much earlier stage of development, when the cells are still sorting themselves out within the embryo.
“In particular, people were concerned about human cells populating the brain of the animal or the germline of the animal,” Wolinetz said. In the first case, the animal might be humanized; in the second case, the animal might pass human genes on to its offspring.
As Hyun frames it, the ethical question is this: “If you up the biological contribution of the human stem cells, are you also somehow turning them morally into a human-like thing with human rights?” He noted, though, “It’s so difficult to know how you would actually address that.” It’s not measurable.
“I would argue, as long as you are avoiding the brain, or there’s not a significant change to the brain, of structure and possible functioning, then I don’t think you even need to go down that philosophical path,” he said. Though as a philosopher, it might be “fun” for him, it’s not a wise or practical thing to do for policy.
Instead, Hyun said, you want to stick with measurable criteria such as seeing a drop in animal function from the beginning of an experiment to the end. “The emphasis should still remain on animal welfare,” he said, as it is currently for any kind of animal research.
Meanwhile, Wolinetz said the National Institutes of Health is hoping to finalize its policy on chimera research very soon in order to get back into the business of funding appropriate projects.
“We would like to make sure exciting research can go forward,” she said, “but also make sure that we’ve got an appropriate oversight system so we can make sure it’s proceeding responsibly.”
This article is talking about how in China they are mixing and generating humans cells and tissue in pigs and cattle at the youngest stage of development.
A. first question, how is the IVF clinic getting access to the embryos at the youngest stage?? Where do they come from? Is there an IVF clinic for animals where they get animals and do IVF on them, that is how it all started, IVF with animals.
B. Combining humans bodies parts into an animal makes no sense because we are different species than animals and so we can’t possibly figure out our health issues as we combine animals bodies and cells into humans who are considered “left overs” (evil term).
C. These children are people and clearly since it is China they deny people their humanity.