US and Chinese scientists have successfully created embryos that are part monkey and part human in order to produce organs for transplant recipients, raising ethics concerns among scientists.
The mix of human-monkey cells were created by a team of international scientists, according to a report by NPR. “My first question is: Why?” said Kirstin Matthews, a fellow for science and technology at Rice University’s Baker Institute. “I think the public is going to be concerned, and I am as well, that we’re just kind of pushing forward with science without having a proper conversation about what we should or should not do.”
While many bioethicists have voiced concerns over the potential ramifications of such research, the scientists responsible for developing the embryos maintain their stance that the experiment is just.
“This is one of the major problems in medicine — organ transplantation,” said Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a professor in the Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences and a co-author of the groundbreaking Cell study. “The demand for that is much higher than the supply.”
“I don’t see this type of research being ethically problematic,” said Insoo Hyun, a bioethicist at Case Western Reserve University and Harvard University. “It’s aimed at lofty humanitarian goals.”
The study signifies the next step in the development of human-animal chimeras as scientists search for new ways to cure disease. Researchers in the US and other countries have been injecting human stem cells into sheep and pig embryos, with little success. Instead, researchers injected 25 human induced pluripotent stem cells, typically called iPS cells, into embryos from macaque monkeys, which have a closer genetic resemblance to humans.
The researchers reported that they were able to detect human cells growing in 132 of the embryos after the first day of the study. This allowed them to study the embryos for up to 19 days.
Many media outlets dismissed concerns about chimeras being used for organ harvesting after the science was repeatedly covered by radio and TV host Alex Jones. Most recently, in a viral appearance on Joe Rogan’s popular podcast, Jones warned Americans about the motivations behind the development of human-animal chimeras.
“The globalists want to play God,” said Jones on the podcast. “They’re telling you, more human than human, this is going to be more advanced. This is going to be better. But like everything like a cell phone, or like a vaccine, it’s got a Trojan horse. It’s got a back door. It’s already been tested. It’s already been perfected. It’s being rolled out.” Jones’ statements were dismissed by Forbes as a “barrage of mouth diarrhea.”
Speaking to National File about the scientists’ achievement, Jones explained, “It was in all the scientific literature 25 years ago that they were crossing humans with cows and monkeys so they could grow them, get organs out of them, and say they don’t have rights. They’re just getting ready to go public now.”
“The holy grail has been growing organs in a lab, but it doesn’t work to try to grow a liver, lungs, kidneys by themselves, so you create the whole organism, say inside a cow, you can then have a larger humanoid to get the organs from,” explained Jones. “But you’ve got to have a humanoid that’s part cow so the cow doesn’t reject it. So you create a clone of a cow, splice it with a human, so the cow doesn’t reject the humanoid implant.”
“It grows up to be say the size of a 40-50 pound human, it’s only part cow, so it’s not rejected and you can harvest the organs. You turn the human body into a total commodity,” Jones told National File.
“They developed this decades ago, it was in the literature, it’s just now they’re going operational because they’ve gotten it where it actually works. That’s why it only now sees the world.”