In the spring of this year in Japan, the ban on experiments on the creation of hybrids of animals and humans was lifted. Professor at Tokyo University Hiromitsu Nakauti, who had previously grown an organ from the cells of one animal in the body of another, was the first to receive official permission to cross the human and animal embryo.
It is important to note that human and animal embryos could be crossed earlier, but it was strictly forbidden to bring the resulting hybrid to the moment of birth. Now, this restriction is removed. Hiromitsu Nakauchi has already announced plans to start growing human cells in the embryos of mice and rats, followed by the transplantation of these embryos into surrogate animals for further observation. He noted that the birth of a live hybrid would not be his primary goal.
Now Hiromitsu Nakauchi plans to start growing hybrid embryos of mice and humans before the term of 14.5 days to have time to form all the organs. Similar experiments will be conducted with rats, but the development of their hybrids takes 15.5 days. According to the results of research, the scientist intends to obtain permission to grow hybrid embryos in pigs for up to 70 days.
“It is necessary to work in this direction gradually and cautiously, which will allow you to constantly engage in dialogue with a skeptical public,” said Tetsuya Ishii, a colleague of Hiromitsu Nakauti.
According to Hiromitsu Nakauchi, the purpose of his experiments is to grow animals with organs from human cells, which can then be transplanted to humans. As a result, patients do not have to wait for the emergence of suitable donors.