Monday, April 17, 2017

Human- Pig Hybrid Embryo Created


Link to Research Paper:

A new breakthrough occurred during a study where pig embryos containing human cells were formed.  These embryos are a step in growing animals that contain human organs.  These could be used for organ transplants.  However, it will likely be a long time before this becomes a reality.  The pig embryos contained very few human cells.  In addition, pig embryonic cells and human embryonic cells grow at different rates, making it difficult to place both cells into a single embryo.  Lastly, there are ethical concerns surrounding this process.  For example, there is a concern over the pigs developing a human brain, and thus being sentient.

I was quite surprised by this article.  I didn't think it was possible to have embryos with cells from multiple species.  However, I do have ethical concerns over growing animals just for organ transplants.  I personally think that it would be better to find a different way to grow them.


  1. This is a very interesting article. Before reading this, I would have never imagined using pigs as a host for human organs. We think of pigs as such disgusting animals, so for scientist to inject stem cells into them to use as an organ donor in the future is so fascinating. This can help limit the waiting period of patients who need an organ, I hope this works out and if it doesn't, I hope they find another way.

  2. My first thought after reading the title was "Ew", but after reading your comments and the article, it is actually quite important and interesting research. So many people die each year waiting for transplants, and this could save many. Though the ethics aren't wrong in some of the risks involved in doing such a thing.

  3. I agree with you about the ethical dilemma with using animals just to grow organs for humans. However, we breed animals just to eat them so that may be there defense in doing the research. This could be very beneficial because there are many people on transplant lists that may never get one. But with this method more people could. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for this research.