Scientists have created a human-pig hybrid in what is called “a milestone study” that raises the prospect of being able to grow human organs inside animals for use in transplants. This is the first time that embryos combining two large, distantly-related species have been produced. This so-called chimera has been hailed as a significant first step towards generating human hearts, livers and kidneys from scratch.
The experiments were conducted at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California by one of its scientists, Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte. “The ultimate goal is to grow functional and transplantable tissue or organs, but we are far away from that. This is an important first step.”
Several ethical concerns have been raised. Will this lead to intelligent animals with humanized brains be made eventually? Will bizarre hybrid creatures be accidentally released into the world?
Belmonte acknowledged: “The idea of having an animal being born composing of human cells creates some feelings that need to be addressed.”
The scientific paper, published in the journal Cell claims that human stem cells were injected into early-stage pig embryos, which resulted in over 2,000 hybrids that were transferred to surrogate sows. Over 150 embryos became chimeras that were mostly pig, but with about 10,000 human cells. These pig-human embryos were allowed to develop to 28 days and then removed.
Belmonte’s team believe that in future these techniques could be used to incubate human organs, genetically matched to a patient for use in transplants or for testing medicines.
The Salk team is “hoping to boost the human contribution by switching off specific genes in the pig embryos that would prevent the pig cells from contributing to target organs, such as the heart, potentially giving the human cells a competitive advantage.”
Creating chimeras is a complex and difficult scientific matter. But it should not surprise us that what may have been done before the flood is happening again now.
“But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.” Spirit of Prophecy, Vol. 1, page 69.