January 27, 2017
(Science) – The controversial idea of growing human organs in host animals has gotten a reality check. Despite recent successes at growing mouse organs in rats, using the same trick to grow human organs in larger animals such as pigs is a long way off, new research shows. The resulting human-animal chimeras don’t grow well, and few human cells survive. The hurdles are not unexpected, says Joe Zhou at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute who was not involved in the work. But despite the “very severe technical challenges,” he says, “I’m optimistic. I think this particular path is promising.”
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