A Japanese government-commissioned expert panel has greenlighted controversial scientific experiments to grow human organs inside the bodies of animals as early as this fall. Under the auspices of the Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Ministry, the panel produced a report on research involving the development of human organs in the bodies of pigs and other animals. In the report, the panel concluded it would allow researchers to implant an animal embryo (a fertilized egg)

containing human cells into an animal’s womb and have the animal give birth. One method being considered for growing human organs inside animal bodies involves injecting human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells into an animal embryo and then returning the embryo to an animal’s womb to be birthed. The embryos are genetically modified to prevent specific organs from being created. Japan’s current guidelines prohibit transplanting such an embryo into an animal’s womb. The ministry plans to revise them.  READ MORE