Japan Creates a Pig that Grows Human Organs

Called chimeras, animals that share essentially human biological qualities, such as human organs from the liver to the brain, are under development in Japan as a way of harvesting organs for transplant.

Japan Creates a Pig that Grows Human Organs

What's the Latest Development?


Animals called chimeras, which grow human organs ranging from the liver to the brain, are under development in Japan as a way of harvesting organs for transplant. Bioethicists have already voiced concerns over animals that share uniquely human characteristics, including animals with human sperm or eggs or a non-human primate with a humanized brain. "The Japanese team claims that their technique rules out the possibility of creating a pig with human gonads or brain, but that remains an untested claim. If the technique fails, the boundary will be crossed."

What's the Big Idea?

The UK Academy of Medical Sciences has already weighed in on the issue of animals containing human material in a report published two years ago. The report concluded that most research on chimeras is permitted under existing laws, but it did identify some experiments which should not yet be done. The goal of chimeras, for now, is to create human organs available for transplant. "There are also looming questions of animal welfare. To satisfy the demand for organs would require the sacrifice of about a million pigs a year. Of course, any ethical concerns must be weighed against the potential benefits for human health and life."

Photo credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at New Scientist


U.S. Navy controls inventions that claim to change "fabric of reality"

Inventions with revolutionary potential made by a mysterious aerospace engineer for the U.S. Navy come to light.

U.S. Navy ships

Credit: Getty Images
Surprising Science
  • U.S. Navy holds patents for enigmatic inventions by aerospace engineer Dr. Salvatore Pais.
  • Pais came up with technology that can "engineer" reality, devising an ultrafast craft, a fusion reactor, and more.
  • While mostly theoretical at this point, the inventions could transform energy, space, and military sectors.
Keep reading Show less

There never was a male fertility crisis

A new study suggests that reports of the impending infertility of the human male are greatly exaggerated.

Sex & Relationships
  • A new review of a famous study on declining sperm counts finds several flaws.
  • The old report makes unfounded assumptions, has faulty data, and tends toward panic.
  • The new report does not rule out that sperm counts are going down, only that this could be quite normal.
Keep reading Show less

Over 40% of workers are considering quitting their jobs

A year of disruptions to work has contributed to mass burnout.

Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Junior members of the workforce, including Generation Z, are facing digital burnout.
  • 41 percent of workers globally are thinking about handing in their notice, according to a new Microsoft survey.
  • A hybrid blend of in-person and remote work could help maintain a sense of balance – but bosses need to do more.
Keep reading Show less
Quantcast