Scientists have successfully formed a hybrid human-monkey embryo – with the experiment taking place in China to avoid “legal issues”.
Researchers led by scientist Juan Carlos Izpisúa spliced together the genes to grow a monkey with human cells.
It is said the creature could have grown and been born, but scientists aborted the process.
The team, made up of members of the Salk Institute in the United States and the Murcia Catholic University, genetically modified the monkey embryos.
Researchers deactivates the genes which form organs, and replaced them with human stem cells.
The team have not yet published their findings, but confirmed the hybrid to EL PAIS.
“We are now trying not only to move forward and continue experimenting with human cells and rodent and pig cells, but also with non-human primates,” Izpisúa said.
The scientist, from Spain, was responsible for creating the first human pig hybrid in 2017.
Team member Pablo Ross said: “The human cells did not take hold. We saw that they contributed very little [to the development of the embryo].
“It was only one human cell for ever 100,000 pig cells.”
The scientists have also experimented with creating human birds with rats and mice, with the hope to developing transplantable hearts, eyes and pancreases.