Last week, researchers led by Spanish scientist Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte announced they had created the first human-monkey chimera embryos in China. The purpose of the experiment is to investigate ways of using animals to grow human organs for transplants. The organs could be genetically matched by taking the recipient’s cells and reprogramming them into stem cells.
In 2017, scientists from the Salk Institute in California (led again by Izpisua Belmonte) tried to grow the first embryos containing cells from humans and pigs. The process proved to be more challenging than expected and was very inefficient: from 2,075 implanted embryos, only 186 developed up to the 28-day time limit for the project.