Japanese scientists are planning to grow human organs in animals and then harvest the organs for human transplant in a controversial embryonic research project.
All the scientists need is approval and guidelines from the Japanese government, which is likely to happen within a year.
Unlike Western countries, there is strong support for embryonic research in Japan.
According to The Telegraph, scientists plan to put a human stem cell into the embryo of an animal and create a "chimeric embryo," which will be placed in another animal's womb.
The chimeric embryo, in theory, will grow into a human organ as the host animal matures.
When the host animal is killed, the new human organ will be removed and transplanted into a human who needs the organ.
When Japanese government officials agree on the guidelines of the research, Professor Hiromitsu Nakauchi, of the University of Tokyo, believes the first pig carrying a human organ can be produced "quite quickly, because the technique has been established already."
This first human organ produced is likely to be a pancreas, which could help millions of people with diabetes.
Source: The Telegraph