Current Affairs

First human-monkey embryos created

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    Science & Technology
  • Published
    24th Apr, 2021


Scientists have created the world’s first monkey embryos which contain human cells in an attempt to study that how the two types of cell develop alongside each other.

About the Study

  • Chimera: This type of hybrid life form is known as chimera.
  • Significance: This is expected that human and other animal chimera can be a potential target to cure human disease such as Alzheimer disease as well as in transplantation studies.
  • For such studies the part-human chimeras has to be developed first.
  • Monkeys are evolutionarily closer to us, so there’s a greater chance that cells will interacts effectively with each other.
  • The similar research was conducted in pigs as their organs are about the same size as ours but could was failed to inability to create a functional chimera.
  • Researchers created a four-week-old pig embryo containing human cells.

Ethical Concerns

  • It could be ethically controversial, because these creatures could possess an ambiguous moral status.
  • These chimera researches include the “yuk factor”, which means it’s likely to provoke moral revulsion.
  • But it is said that the yuk factor would be got over when lives are at stake.

Future chimeras

  • The part-pig or part-primate, are possible in future. This would be significant in developing organs for transplantation.

Concerns with the Moral status

  • Some human-nonhuman chimeras could develop mental capacities which would lie between animals and humans.
  • This presents a huge challenge to determine the moral status of living creatures, and the rights and obligations that follow that status.

Moral Status

  • Moral status is the concept of treating life forms according to their interests and capacities.
    • Humans are generally thought to have higher moral status than monkeys, who have higher moral status than pigs, who have higher moral status than worms.
    • Moral status is linked to mental capacities such as consciousness, self-consciousness, moral capacities and rationality.