First Pigs with Monkey Cells Were Born in China

Chinese scientists implanted cells of macaques into pig embryos. Scientists did not do this just for fun – the goal is to grow human organs for transplantation in the bodies of pigs, writes “Agro-Center”.

Only two out of ten hybrids were born, but they died by the end of the first week. Despite the failure, it is a major step towards growing organs for transplantation, writes TASS with a reference to an article in the “Protein & Cell” magazine.

The size of pig organs is comparable to that of humans, so researchers have repeatedly tried to make these animals donors for organ transplantation. In a new study, Chinese scientists were able to grow two piglets with cells of macaques (Macaca fascicularis).

To do this, scientists placed macaque stem cells in more than 4,000 blastocysts – an embryo in mammals at an early stage of development. Afterward, blastocysts with macaque cells were introduced into pig uterus by extracorporeal fertilization.

Only two out of ten female pigs gave birth to alive hybrids. However, both piglets died during the first week of life. Scientists suggest that it had to do with complications during fertilization.

Despite this, scientists consider their experiment a success. Macaque cells were found in almost all tissues of newborn pigs. The result is better than in previous experiments when human cells were added to blastocysts of pigs.

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