Human-Animal Embryos Created
Controversial cow-human creation lived for three days
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 2, 2008 6:14 AM CDT
A scientific researcher manipulates drops of embryonic stem cells.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – In a brave new world breakthrough, British scientists for the first time have created animal-human hybrid embryos, the London Times reports. The nuclei of cow eggs were removed and replaced with ones from a human cell, creating "admixed" embryos—or "cybrids" whose genetic material is 99.9% human. Electricity jolted the cybrids to life and they survived for three days. The research team aims to create longer-living cybrids for use in stem cell research.

Public opinion in Britain is split on the cybrid issue. Scientists say using the stem cells created could lead to vital medical breakthroughs, and that the embryos would never be implanted into a human. But religious leaders have blasted what they call “experiments of Frankenstein proportion.” Parliament will vote soon on a bill to bring the country's 1990 law on embryo research up to date with modern technology.