A team of scientists from China and the US have reached a breakthrough in the field of stem cell research. They injected human stem cells into monkey blastocytes, an early structure in embryonic development in mammals. The team around lead researcher Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte then managed to keep some of the embryos made up of two different genetic materials alive for up to 20 days. A “mixed” organism like this is also known as chimeric, or an interspecies chimera. Izpisua Belmonte and his team at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in California cooperated with a group of Chinese researchers led by Weizhi Ji at Kunming University of Science and Technology in Yunnan. Their study on chimeric human-primate embryos was published on Thursday in the renowned natural science journal Cell. Chimeras in mammals have been made since the 1970s to study early developmental processes. The difference: Back then, scientists used rodents, and the interspecies organisms usually didn’t survive for very long. The big step that made the new study possible came last year, when the Chinese team at Kunming University developed technology that that allowed monkey embryos to stay alive and grow outside the body for an extended period… Read full this story
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