Scientists Create Half Human - Half Chicken Embryos
A couple of weeks ago, the famous British online newspaper The Daily Mail released a very interesting article about an alarming experiment that took place recently in secret laboratories in the United States.
According to this article, scientists have created “half chicken – half human embryos” in order to understand the way stem cells transform into a foetus.
“Scientists in New York have created half human-half chicken embryos in what some have described as 'sick' and 'disturbing' experiments. Researchers hope that by transplanting human stem cells onto newly-formed chicken embryos they can find out more about how cells transform into foetuses”, the article states. “The findings could lead to a whole host of new treatments for developmental disorders, they believe - but it's not without criticism”, it adds.
It has been proven that a group of cells called “organisers” are crucial for the early stages of development in amphibian and fish embryos. These cells received this name since they determine the function of other cells by sending them specific commands. “When an organiser is transplanted from one embryo to another, it spurs its new host to produce a secondary spinal column and central nervous system, complete with spinal cord and brain”, the article says.
The head of the project, Dr Ali Brivanlou, from Rockefeller University, explained that he used human “organisers” to send instructions to the chicken embryo’s cells. “Once you transplant the human organiser into a chicken embryo, the language it uses to instruct the bird cells to establish the brain and nervous system is exactly the same as the one used by amphibians and fish”, he stated. “To my amazement, the graft not only survived, but actually gave rise to these beautifully organised structures”, he continued.
However, the experiment has been in the public eye due to ethical reasons. Twitter user BernieForTheGreaterGood expressed: “for real, that's some sick stuff. No excuses when there are supercomputers to do molecular level research”. Another user called Cassandra Fairbanks also commented: “this isn’t okay. Scientists need to chill. They’re making human/chicken hybrid embryos”.
Draw your own conclusions…