Researchers led by Spanish scientist Juan Carlos Izpisúa have created for the first time a human-monkey hybrid in a laboratory in China – an important step towards using animals for human organ transplants, project collaborator Estrella Núñez confirmed to EL PAÍS.
The team, made up of members of the Salk Institute in the United States and the Murcia Catholic University (UCAM) in Spain, genetically modified monkey embryos to deactivate genes that are essential to the formation of organs.
The scientists then injected human stem cells, which are capable of creating any type of tissue, into the embryo. The product of this work is a monkey with human cells that has not been born, because researchers stopped the process.
The experiment took place in China to avoid legal issues.