Photo credit: New York Times

Biologists have seen successful results in growing human stem cells in pig embryos. This approach came about because of the unsuccessful results with stem cell development in glassware, so instead they decided to use what nature gave them. Past experiments have been performed on rats and mice suggesting that such a process might be able to help the 76,000 people in the US waiting for transplants. It’s all good in theory, but there are a lot of technical and ethical complications. One scary thought was that if we used pigs to grow human brains, we’d have talking pigs… yikes. It’s a tricky situation. People won’t even eat bacon to protect animal rights, but will they sacrifice a pig’s life to save a parent, sibling, or friend? Some religious groups might classify it as playing God. Continuing research will undoubtedly be very difficult, but it might be worth a shot.

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