John Lucas reports for The Sun, Dec. 6, 2019, that Chinese scientists have produced the world’s first monkey-pig hybrids, which could pave the way for human organs grown by animals. Beijing-based Tang Hai said: “This is the first report of full-term pig-monkey chimeras.”
The groundbreaking experiment produced hybrids with hearts, livers, spleens, lungs and skin containing pig and primate cells. Stem cells from macaque monkeys were grown in a lab and then injected into pig embryos five days after fertilization. Of more than 4,000 implanted in sows, ten piglets were born. But only two were chimeras and both died in a week.
University of California stem cell biologist Paul Knoepfler said: “Given the extremely low chimeric efficiency and the deaths of all the animals, I see this as fairly discouraging.”
The piglets, known as moinkeys, had organs with monkey cells in a very low ratio. A similar US experiment in 2017 using pig and human DNA developed embryos for only a month amid fears the brain may be partly human.