The researchers have already received official clearance for their experiment. Their goal is to start growing tissue or even entire organs that can be transplanted into patients.
Japanese scientist Hiromitsu Nakauchi has obtained official clearance to create human-animal hybrids. The scientist plans to grow human cells inside the bodies of mice and rats. In the future, these cells will be transplanted into other animals’ bodies for further observation.
The mice embryos will be brought to a term of 14.5 days. After this time, most of their organs will be fully formed. In experiments with rats, Nakauchi will aim for a term of 15.5 days. The one-day difference has to do with the rodents’ individual characteristics.
But the experiment won’t stop there. The scientist hopes to eventually obtain permission to experiment on pigs. If the government gives him a green light for these experiments, these pig embryos will be brought to a term of 70 days.
These experiments raise an important ethical question: where should we cross the line with human involvement in biological processes? Public opinion is split down the middle: while some believe it is totally unacceptable, others are certain that conventional moral standards should be changed to support advancements in medicine.
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