Chinese Scientists Grow Human Kidneys Inside Pig Embryos

In a world first, Chinese scientists at the Chinese Academy of Sciences Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health have successfully grown human kidneys inside pig embryos. This groundbreaking achievement involved inserting human stem cells into pig embryos, resulting in kidneys containing 50 to 60 percent human cells.

Researchers used CRISPR gene editing to limit pig cell growth and avoid embryonic degradation. While the study marks a milestone, it also highlights important ethical and technical challenges to overcome, including potential organ rejection and immune responses in the future.


The achievement offers a potential solution to the shortage of transplant organs, particularly kidneys, which are in high demand.


Challenges and issues included the large number of embryos that degenerated during experiments, the possibility of organ rejection due to differing cell types, and potential complications with longer gestation times for the embryos.

Ethical Concerns

Ethical concerns were raised due to the interspecies chimeric embryos, as human cells were found in the embryos’ brains and spinal cords. These embryos raise questions about the integration of human cells into animal embryos and the potential consequences of such integration.

Alternative Approaches

Xenotransplantation involves transplanting organs from one species to another. Genetic modifications have been used to reduce the risk of rejection in xenotransplantation.



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