Is The First Human-pig ‘Chimera’ A Milestone Or Harsh Means To An End?

Science claimed to have created the ultimate answer for human organs transplant.

Ok, when I first saw the video and read the article, I was quite puzzled. It literally gave me goose bumps and in not a good way at all. “Human-pig” caught my attention and I knew I had to read it and find out what all the fuss is about.

The article and video are entirely about how scientists creating the very first “Chimera” or in other words human-pig for the means for organ transplantation on humans. Chimera, in Greek mythology, is a monster with parts from 3 different animals. So the idea is breeding pigs with fully functional human organs in them, and when the pig is fully grown, these organs will be harvested for transplant purposes. There are some concerns whether it will really work or if the animal will be as smart as human or if there will be a weird hybrid of creatures. But as a vegan my major question is, doesn’t this fall under animal cruelty?

I mean, isn’t slaughtering animals for food enough for non-vegans that they have to breed pigs in order to take out the organs for humans to use for themselves? I understand that this is only a means in order to help improve medical science and to aid people with organ transplant issues, but how about the animals that are a part of this? It’s just a thought though. We are all entitled to our own opinion. What are your thoughts on this?

Check out the article below.


First human-pig ‘chimera’ created in milestone study

Prospect of growing human organs for transplantation raised by creation of first ever embryos combining two large, distantly related species

Scientists have created a human-pig hybrid in a milestone study that raises the prospect of being able to grow human organs inside animals for use in transplants.

It marks the first time that embryos combining two large, distantly-related species have been produced. The creation of this so-called chimera – named after the cross-species beast of Greek mythology – has been hailed as a significant first step towards generating human hearts, livers and kidneys from scratch.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, who led the work on the part-pig, part-human embryos at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, said: “The ultimate goal is to grow functional and transplantable tissue or organs, but we are far away from that. This is an important first step.”

The study has reignited ethical concerns that have threatened to overshadow the field’s clinical promise. The work inevitably raises the spectre of intelligent animals with humanised brains and also the potential for bizarre hybrid creatures to be accidentally released into the wild. The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) placed a moratorium on funding for the controversial experiments last year while these risks were considered.

The paper, published in the journal Cell, outlines how human stem cells were injected into early-stage pig embryos, resulting in more than 2,000 hybrids that were transferred to surrogate sows. More than 150 of the embryos developed into chimeras that were mostly pig, but with a tiny human contribution of around one in 10,000 cells.

The pig-human embryos were allowed to develop to 28 days (the first trimester of a pig pregnancy) before being removed.

“This is long enough for us to try to understand how the human and pig cells mix together early on without raising ethical concerns about mature chimeric animals,” said Izpisua Belmonte.

The team believe that in future the approach could pave the way for incubating human organs, genetically matched to a patient, for use in transplants or for testing new medicines more safely and effectively.

“Many animals have this extraordinary ability to regenerate,” said Izpisua Belmonte. “Humans don’t have that. [This field of work] could provide a platform for human cells to do that.”

 

Watch the full video below.

Credits to theguardian.com for this article.