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Animals With Human Organs Gestating In U.S. Labs In Spite Of Funding Ban

Update Date: Jan 13, 2016 12:05 PM EST

Research labs are experimenting with human-animal chimeras. They are trying to grow human organs inside animals such as sheep and pigs, so almost 20 animals have been impregnated with human organs grown by scientists from many American universities in the past year, according to MIT Technology Review.

Human stem cells are injected into the embryo of a beast and then implanted into another animal for gestation. Human organs can be grown through manipulation of the stem cells, believe scientists. Hence, a particular organ in the animal embryo can be removed, after which the scientists would work on the human stem cells that can be used as a replacement.

While the experiment would help people, especially those who lack organ donors, there are debates over the ethics of the process, as it "blurs the line between species", MIT Technology Review reported. This idea is endorsed by governmental agencies, for instance, the National Institute of Health (NIH) discarded the idea of funding the project, and decided that they should adopt regulatory policies, said an official announcement.

Objections are also being filed by animal rights groups, who are calling it cruel to animals. It is not right to form a beast with human characteristics, such as when brain cells are injected into it. "The spectre of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming, 'I want to get out,' would be very troubling to people," David Resnik from the NIH said.

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