PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Like something from a science fiction novel, there are reports that scientists in the United States are working to do something pretty odd.
According to BBC, a team from the University of California is working to overcome the worldwide shortage of transplant organs by growing human organs inside pigs.READ MORE: Zoning Board Ruling Advances Plans For Downtown Pittsburgh Target Store
How, you ask?
They have injected human stem cells into pig embryos to produce human-pig embryos known as chimeras. (If you are interested in the specific process utilized to make this happen, there is a full explanation with visual aides on the BBC’s website.)
The researchers believe that the hybrid embryos could develop into normal pigs that house human organs.Child, 2 Adults Killed In Ohio House Fire
For now, scientists have only allowed embryos to develop 28 days inside female pigs before terminating the pregnancy and studying the tissue.
There is a strange concern that has come along with the study.
“We think there is very low potential for a human brain to grow, but this is something we will be investigating,” said Pablo Ross, a reproductive biologist who is leading the research.
As one may expect, animal rights advocates have not been thrilled at the idea.MORE NEWS: Residents At Pittsburgh Apartment Complex Say Heat Is Still Broken
Peter Stevenson of the British organization Compassion in World Farming expressed concern to the BBC that pigs bred for human medical uses would be “a new source of animal suffering.”