Human Cells In Monkey Embryos:
Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in the US in research called Chimera Research have for the first time grown human cells in monkey embryos.
- By integrating human cells into the embryos of macaque monkeys, a chimeric tool has been created.
- Chimeras are organisms that are made up of the cells of two distinct species, in this case, humans, and monkeys.
- For instance, if this hybrid embryo was placed in the womb of a monkey, it could possibly grow into a new kind of animal (however this was not the aim of this study).
Purpose of the Research:
- Understanding Human Development & Drug Evaluation:
- The ability to grow cells of two different species together offers scientists a powerful tool for research and medicine, advancing current understanding about early human development, disease onset and progression, and aging.
- It could also help in drug evaluation and address the critical need for organ transplantation.
Provides New Platform to Study Diseases:
- Chimeric tools provide a new platform to study how certain diseases arise. For instance, a particular gene that is associated with a certain type of cancer could be engineered in a human cell.
- It can help in studying the course of disease progression using the engineered cells in a chimeric model, which may be able to tell them more about the disease than results obtained from an animal model.