American researchers have succeeded in creating human-pig chimera embryos with the ultimate goal of one day growing human organs in animals for transplant.
The scientists created the hybrid by injecting human stem cells — cells that can develop into any type of body tissue — into pig embryos, a trial-and-error process, according to National Geographic.
The embryos were placed back into pigs and removed for analysis three to four weeks later. A total of 186 were collected, according to the research.
The team piggybacked on earlier experiments that created mouse-rat chimera. Chimera refers to mixed species organisms, and is derived from the name of a lion-goat-snake creature described in Greek mythology.
The research, led by scientists at the Salk Institute, will undoubtedly prove controversial and can’t be funded by public money, CNET reports.