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Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
#1

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Quote:For the first time, scientists have created embryos that are a mix of human and monkey cells.

The embryos, described Thursday in the journal Cell, were created in part to try to find new ways to produce organs for people who need transplants, says the international team of scientists who collaborated in the work. But the research raises a variety of concerns.

"My first question is: Why?" says Kirstin Matthews, a fellow for science and technology at Rice University's Baker Institute. "I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we're just kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do."

Still, the scientists who conducted the research, and some other bioethicists defended the experiment.

"This is one of the major problems in medicine — organ transplantation," says Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences in La Jolla, Calif., and a co-author of the Cell study. "The demand for that is much higher than the supply."

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"I don't see this type of research being ethically problematic," says Insoo Hyun, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University and Harvard University. "It's aimed at lofty humanitarian goals."

Thousands of people die every year in the United States waiting for an organ transplant, Hyun notes. So, in recent years, some researchers in the U.S. and beyond have been injecting human stem cells into sheep and pig embryos to see if they might eventually grow human organs in such animals for transplantation.

But so far, that approach hasn't worked. So Belmonte teamed up with scientists in China and elsewhere to try something different. The researchers injected 25 cells known as induced pluripotent stem cells from humans — commonly called iPS cells — into embryos from macaque monkeys, which are much more closely genetically related to humans than are sheep and pigs.

After one day, the researchers report, they were able to detect human cells growing in 132 of the embryos, and were able study the embryos for up to 19 days. That enabled the scientists to learn more about how animal cells and human cells communicate, an important step toward eventually helping researchers find new ways to grow organs for transplantation in other animals, Belmonte says.

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"This knowledge will allow us to go back now and try to re-engineer these pathways that are successful for allowing appropriate development of human cells in these other animals," Belmonte tells NPR. "We are very, very excited."

Such mixed-species embryos are known as chimeras, named for the fire-breathing creature from Greek mythology that is part-lion, part-goat, part-snake.

"Our goal is not to generate any new organism, any monster," Belmonte says. "And we are not doing anything like that. We are trying to understand how cells from different organisms communicate with one another."

In addition, Belmonte hopes this kind of work could lead to new insights into early human development, aging and the underlying causes of cancer and other disease.

Some other scientists NPR spoke with agree the research could be very useful.

"This work is an important step that provides very compelling evidence that someday when we understand fully what the process is we could make them develop into a heart or a kidney or lungs," says Dr. Jeffrey Platt, a professor of microbiology and immunology at the University of Michigan, who is doing related experiments but was not involved in the new research.

But this type of scientific work and the possibilities it opens up raises serious questions for some ethicists. The biggest concern, they say, is that someone could try to take this work further and attempt to make a baby out of an embryo made this way. Specifically, the critics worry that human cells could become part of the developing brain of such an embryo — and of the brain of the resulting animal.

"Should it be regulated as human because it has a significant proportion of human cells in it? Or should it be regulated just as an animal? Or something else?" says Matthews. "At what point are you taking something and using it for organs when it actually is starting to think, and have logic?"

Another concern is that using human cells in this way could produce animals that have human sperm or eggs.

"Nobody really wants monkeys walking around with human eggs and human sperm inside them," says Hank Greely, a Stanford University bioethicist, who co-wrote an article in the same issue of the journal that critiques the line of research, while noting that this particular study was ethically done. "Because if a monkey with human sperm meets a monkey with human eggs, nobody wants a human embryo inside a monkey's uterus."

Belmonte acknowledges the ethical concerns. But he stresses that his team has no intention of trying to create animals with the part-human, part-monkey embryos, or to even try to grow human organs in such a closely related species. He says his team consulted closely with bioethicists, including Greely.

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shot...art-monkey

I find this pretty disturbing, myself. I get why it's being done, but there's many ways it could go wrong, seems to me.
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#2

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Finally, I will be able to achieve my final form of human-crab hybrid.
Sometimes you just have no words all you can do is laugh at the stupidity. Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#3

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Was this scientist named Moreau?
Man’s innate yearning for freedom can be suppressed but never destroyed. Totalitarianism cannot renounce violence. If it does, it perishes. Eternal, ceaseless violence, overt or covert, is the basis of totalitarianism. Man does not renounce freedom voluntarily.

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#4

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 05:41 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: Finally, I will be able to achieve my final form of human-crab hybrid.

Aren't you already a crabby human?  Tongue
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#5

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 05:52 PM)Fireball Wrote:
(04-15-2021, 05:41 PM)GenesisNemesis Wrote: Finally, I will be able to achieve my final form of human-crab hybrid.

Aren't you already a crabby human?  Tongue

Very. Big Grin
Sometimes you just have no words all you can do is laugh at the stupidity. Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#6

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Whatever finished organisms emerge from this we'll know with certainty that they'll be smarter than we are in that we created them, not the other way around  Tongue
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#7

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Geez.  Can't they grow organs without an embryo and just use the organ cells itself?   This has a big si-fi ick factor.
                                                         T4618
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#8

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 06:51 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Geez.  Can't they grow organs without an embryo and just use the organ cells itself?   This has a big si-fi ick factor.

That's what I was wondering. Wouldn't vats avoid the ethical questions involved?

Mind you, I don't know if culture vats for human organs are technically feasible.
Freedom isn't free.
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#9

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Quote:"Because if a monkey with human sperm meets a monkey with human eggs, nobody wants a human embryo inside a monkey's uterus."



I used to work with a guy whose favorite expression was "you can't bake a cake on a monkey's ass."  We all thought he was nuts.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#10

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 07:17 PM)Minimalist Wrote:
Quote:"Because if a monkey with human sperm meets a monkey with human eggs, nobody wants a human embryo inside a monkey's uterus."


I used to work with a guy whose favorite expression was "you can't bake a cake on a monkey's ass."  We all thought he was nuts.

You mean bananas. Banana Dance
Sometimes you just have no words all you can do is laugh at the stupidity. Deadpan Coffee Drinker
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#11

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 06:57 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-15-2021, 06:51 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Geez.  Can't they grow organs without an embryo and just use the organ cells itself?   This has a big si-fi ick factor.

That's what I was wondering. Wouldn't vats avoid the ethical questions involved?

Mind you, I don't know if culture vats for human organs are technically feasible.

I've seen a human ear - the cartilage & skin part - grown on a mouse's back.  And that was quite a few years ago.

I would think we know a lot more since then, considering scientists seem to be moving on to organs.   Shy
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#12

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Oh hey - this reminds me - anyone ever read the Kazuo Ishiguro novel, Never Let Me Go? It's a truly beautiful work. Shy
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A new type of thinking is essential if mankind is to survive and move to higher levels. ~ Albert Einstein
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#13

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 10:03 PM)Kim Wrote:
(04-15-2021, 06:57 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-15-2021, 06:51 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Geez.  Can't they grow organs without an embryo and just use the organ cells itself?   This has a big si-fi ick factor.

That's what I was wondering. Wouldn't vats avoid the ethical questions involved?

Mind you, I don't know if culture vats for human organs are technically feasible.

I've seen a human ear - the cartilage & skin part - grown on a mouse's back.  And that was quite a few years ago.

I would think we know a lot more since then, considering scientists seem to be moving on to organs.   Shy

Maybe I'm a softie, but the idea of growing animals to be dissected for organs is a bit harsh. I know we think of cows and sheep as mindless, and they do seem pretty dumb, but all the same, they're animals and I guess it just doesn't sit well with me.

Yes, I know this is an argument from feelz.
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#14

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 06:51 PM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Geez.  Can't they grow organs without an embryo and just use the organ cells itself?   This has a big si-fi ick factor.

They can and they're well on the way in a number of centers.
https://singularityhub.com/2009/06/23/st...s-and-vid/
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#15

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
That's nothing, on June 14th 1946;

A goblin, an ass, and a retarded chimpanzee hybrid came into the world
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#16

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-16-2021, 12:52 AM)no one Wrote: That's nothing, on June 14th 1946;

A goblin, an ass, and a retarded chimpanzee hybrid came into the world

Now we know your birthday Tongue
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#17

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Maybe they can make a Crockoduck and finally prove evolution is true.


[Image: epicCrocoduck.jpg]
                                                         T4618
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#18

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
Oh great, this will trigger a whole new batch of 'the end times are near'.
test signature
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#19

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
[Image: icon_quote.jpg]thisguy:
That's nothing, on June 14th 1946;

A goblin, an ass, and a retarded chimpanzee hybrid came into the world


[Image: icon_quote.jpg]Thumps:
Now we know your birthday


Let's be clear, I lack the looks of the goblin, the social graces of the ass, and the intelligence of the retarded chimp.
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#20

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-16-2021, 03:11 AM)no one Wrote: Let's be clear, I lack the looks of the goblin, the social graces of the ass, and the intelligence of the retarded chimp.

I think we've found our chimera, folks.
Freedom isn't free.
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#21

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-16-2021, 01:52 AM)Dancefortwo Wrote: Maybe they can make a Crockoduck and finally prove evolution is true.

LOL... we have our own "crockoduck"


[Image: Some_image.width-1200.4404341.jpg]
I'm a creationist;   I believe that man created God.
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#22

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-15-2021, 10:18 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote:
(04-15-2021, 10:03 PM)Kim Wrote:
(04-15-2021, 06:57 PM)Thumpalumpacus Wrote: That's what I was wondering. Wouldn't vats avoid the ethical questions involved?

Mind you, I don't know if culture vats for human organs are technically feasible.

I've seen a human ear - the cartilage & skin part - grown on a mouse's back.  And that was quite a few years ago.

I would think we know a lot more since then, considering scientists seem to be moving on to organs.   Shy

Maybe I'm a softie, but the idea of growing animals to be dissected for organs is a bit harsh. I know we think of cows and sheep as mindless, and they do seem pretty dumb, but all the same, they're animals and I guess it just doesn't sit well with me.

Yes, I know this is an argument from feelz.
Oh, I completely agree. It's possibly the most pure form of selfishness & greed.

If you're up for a beautifully written, contemplative read ... I'm gonna again reccomend, Kazuo Ishiguro's novel, Never Let Me Go.

It just might give you a shiver, spine wise. Wink
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#23

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
One of the more worrying aspects of this work is the potential for these sort of chimera to be ideal breeding grounds for cross-species diseases.

I'm certain that these researchers were careful enough with their work. Kept everything clean and disposed of the results properly. But various people who take up their work might be a lot less tidy. The Chinese government has a pretty dismal track record when it comes to ethics.
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#24

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
(04-17-2021, 01:45 AM)Paleophyte Wrote: One of the more worrying aspects of this work is the potential for these sort of chimera to be ideal breeding grounds for cross-species diseases.

I'm certain that these researchers were careful enough with their work. Kept everything clean and disposed of the results properly. But various people who take up their work might be a lot less tidy. The Chinese government has a pretty dismal track record when it comes to ethics.

20 years from now when the Chinese Army's soldiers are exceptionally hairy and dragging their knuckles in parades, we'll be concerned. Big Grin
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#25

Scientists successfully mix human and animal cells in embryos
I'm more worried that the humacaque that they try to grown Xi Jinping's replacement liver in will turn out to be an exceptionally good vector for COVID-21 to enter our species.
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