A hybrid human-monkey embryo created in China

The Spanish edition of El País reports that biologist Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmont took part in an experiment to create hybrid human and monkey embryos. A native of the Catholic University of Murcia and an employee of the Salk Institute in California, he was forced to work in China, since American laws explicitly prohibit such research.

The idea of ​​creating hybrid embryos appeared in the course of Dr. Belmont's large-scale work on growing donor organs for humans in animal bodies. But his experiments to create chimeras based on pigs with a human liver were unsuccessful. And then the Spaniard took up editing the monkey genome in combination with the transplantation of stem cells from human embryos.

The idea was to "turn off" the genes responsible for growing the kidney in the monkey embryo. The tissue is then removed and replaced with activated human stem cells to grow a kidney that can then be transplanted into a patient.

The media mentions that so far not a single full-fledged hybrid has been obtained. The modified embryos are allowed to grow up for several weeks during which they can be studied. Some scientists considered this publication to be fiction, if only because monkeys are a very inconvenient candidate for donation. In their opinion, these animals are too small and take a long time to grow, which makes the program economically unprofitable.