BEIJING — These little piggies had some crazy scientists genetically engineer them with a bunch of monkey DNA in China.
According to New Scientist, pig-primate chimeras were created by a team in China. The two piglets resembled normal pigs on the outside, but they also had a proportion of their cells derived from cynomolgus monkeys.
According to Tang Hai at the State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology in Beijing, "this is the first report of full-term pig-monkey chimeras."
The goal of the mad scientists is to grow human organs in animals for transplantation.
Unfortunately, the research has a long way to go as both little piggies died within a week.
The Chinese researchers genetically modified cynomolgus monkey cells growing in culture so they made a fluorescent protein called GFP, allowing them to track the cells and their descendents.
The team then derived embryonic stem cells from the modified cells and jammed them into pig embryos five days after fertilization.
Over 4000 embryos were implanted into sows with ten piglets born as a result of which two where chimeras. All became bacon within a week.
The Chinese scientists now say they are trying to engineer healthier animals with a higher proportion of monkey cells.
But in the meantime, might as well just continue harvesting organs from the totally unwilling.