Tags: half-chicken | half-human | embryos | rockefeller university | outcry

Half-Human, Half-Chicken Embryos Created at Rockefeller University – Along With Outcry

Half-Human, Half-Chicken Embryos Created at Rockefeller University – Along With Outcry

The Rockefeller University in New York City is a center for scientific research, primarily in the biological and medical sciences. (Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 28 May 2018 11:57 AM

Half-human, half-chicken embryos have been created by scientists at The Rockefeller University hoping to find new treatments for developmental disorders and to understand how cells transform into fetuses, London's Daily Mail reported.

The news, though, frightened some who called it "an abomination."

The research was led by a team under the direction of Ali Brivanlou at the university located in New York City, the Daily Mail said, and to avoid breaking ethical guidelines that limit experimentation on human embryos, the team grew artificial human embryos from stem cells which they then transplanted into chicken embryos.

According to The Rockefeller University, as soon as the team introduced human embryos to "their avian hosts, the human cells began laying the groundwork for a secondary spinal column and nervous system — an act that clearly announced the presence of a true human organizer."

"To my amazement, the graft not only survived, but actually gave rise to these beautifully organized structures," Brivanlou said. "Once you transplant the human organizer 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."

The scientists said that understanding how undifferentiated stem cells become a particular kind of tissue is critical to regenerative medicine, which relies on stem-cell based technologies to heal and rejuvenate failing tissues, or even replace them with freshly grown ones.

Brivanlou said the new grafting method could be a new tool for studying the earliest stages of development in human beings by providing a window onto normal cell differentiation and tissue formation to help scientists understand when and how things can go awry during the first moments of life, the university statement added.

"If you want to understand something, you must first understand its origins," Brivanlou said. "And if we want to understand the origins of human disease, we must develop ways to work with human cells."

Despite its science, many found the half human, half chicken embryos disturbing.

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Half-human, half-chicken embryos have been created by scientists at The Rockefeller University hoping to find new treatments for developmental disorders and to understand how cells transform into fetuses.
half-chicken, half-human, embryos, rockefeller university, outcry
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2018-57-28
Monday, 28 May 2018 11:57 AM
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