The Japanese government has given scientists under its purview the go ahead to grow human-animal hybrids.
The clearance was given despite fears that the consequences of rogue scientists “playing God” will lead us down a scary path.
Geneticist Hiromitsu Nakauchi and his team plan to use human cells to grow organs in mouse and rat embryos, eventually allowing the embryos to be carried to term and birthed as the first documented human-animal hybrids.
As otentially frightening as the term “human-animal hybrid” looks, it’s actually far less scary than you might imagine as the rodents won’t necessarily look any different than they would otherwise, at least on the outside, but will have human organ cells inside.
The eventual goal is a bit more gruesome, and fodder for plenty of ethical debate. Nakauchi and his team hope to eventually perfect the art of growing human organs in non-human animals and use them for transplants.
They plan to use stem cells to prompt suitable animals to grow certain human organs instead of their own.
According to Nakauchi, the idea is that in-demand organs could be grown and harvested rather than forcing patients to spend months or even years on waiting lists for life-saving procedures.
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