Scientists Are Growing Sheep Embryos Containing Human Cells

By Fattima Mahdi Truth Theory

In 2017, a team of scientists made a controversial breakthrough, they experimented with pig embryos and injected it with human cells. The embryos were not allowed to develop past 28 days of age but it did move scientists one step closer to growing human organs for medical transplants. Today, a team of scientists from Stanford University have chosen to merge human stem cells with sheep embryos. The research hasn’t officially been published, but the experiment was announced at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science annual meeting which took place over the weekend. The scientists chose sheep because the animal’s organs – specifically the heart and lungs – are similar to ours. It’s important to note that the contribution of human cells is very small. “About one in 10,000 cells in these sheep embryos are human,” said Dr Pablo Ross from the University of California, Davis, who is part of the team working towards growing human organs in other species. “For a pig we typically transfer 50 embryos to one recipient,” he said. “With the sheep we transfer four embryos to one recipient.”

As it stands, the team are only allowed to let the embryos develop for 28 days, however, Dr Hiro Nakauchi of Stanford University, who is part of the team, said a longer experiment, perhaps up to 70 days, could garner better results. Of course, there are some ethical concerns, which Ross also echoed. “If our results indicate that the human cells all go to the brain of the animal, then we may never carry this forward,” he said. However, he also agreed that, “all of these approaches are controversial, and none of them are perfect, but they offer hope to people who are dying on a daily basis.”

“Even today the best matched organs, except if they come from identical twins, don’t last very long because with time the immune system continuously is attacking them,” Ross says. “We need to explore all possible alternatives to provide organs to ailing people.”

“Of course, the ultimate goal of chimeric research is to learn whether we can use stem-cell and gene-editing technologies to generate genetically-matched human tissues and organs, and we are very optimistic that continued work will lead to eventual success,” said Salk Professor Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte”

Though the experiments are controversial, they could help bridge the gap between supply and demand for organ transplants.

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Scientists create first pig-human chimera


Scientists have created the first human-pig hybrid in a groundbreaking study that marks the first step in growing human organs inside animals.

Named chimera, after the cross-species beast in Greek mythology, the pig-human embryos were created in the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California and are the first hybrid made using two large, distantly-related species.

“The ultimate goal is to grow functional and transplantable tissue or organs, but we are far away from that,” Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, who led the project, said. “This is an important first step.”

Human stem cells were injected into young pig embryos, which were then placed in surrogate cows. Of the more than 2,000 embryos, only 186 turned into chimeras – largely pig, with human elements in 1 out of 10,000 cells.

After 28 days of a pig’s 112-day pregnancy, the pig-humans were removed as scientists say the embryos had developed enough for them to study in what way the cells mix together “without raising ethical concerns about mature chimeric animals,” Izpisua Belmonte said.

As a pig’s gestation period of under four months is so much shorter than that of a human, the two species’ cells develop at different rates, providing a challenge for future chimera experiments.

Even though a fully developed pig-human being born is a long way away, a chimera with human tissue can be used to study human disease and the differences in organs in differing species.

Despite excitement surrounding the pig-human, concerns have been raised about the ethical implications of mixing human with animal.There is a worry that humanized animals, or animals with human brains could pose a threat to humanity.

“The idea of having an animal being born composing of human cells creates some feelings that need to be addressed,” Belmonte said. “Not everything that science can do we should do. We are not living in a niche lab, we live with other people – and society needs to decide what can be done.”

“Our next challenge is to improve efficiency and guide the human cells into forming a particular organ in pigs,” he said.



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Scientists create human-sheep chimera with hopes of affordable organ transplants


A team of scientists has grown embryos inside a sheep that contain human stem cells, moving the sci-fi idea of developing human organs inside animals one step closer to reality, which has sparked ethical concerns.

The scientific breakthrough could potentially save the lives of thousands of people who are in a dire need of vital organ transplants. While many patients die before they move up to the top of a queue, organs grown inside a sheep, like a pancreas, can not only save a life but also cure a chronic illness such Type 1 Diabetes, the researchers say.

This week, the team from Stanford University was able to grow a sheep embryo injected with adult human stem cells for 28 days, including 21 days inside a sheep, it announced at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas, the Guardian reports. The experiment had to be terminated, as the law prohibits developing cross-species embryos, called chimera, for more than 28 days.

Researchers had already created the first human-pig hybrid.

However, the major difference is that this time they achieved a ten-times higher ratio of human cells to animal cells in an embryo, which is one human cell to about 10,000 sheep cells, according to Dr. Pablo Ross from the University of California.

To create a part-human, part-animal embryo, the researchers use a gene-editing technique. First, they deleted genes needed for developing a certain organ in an animal embryo, then they injected human stem cells, which can become any cell in the body and are supposed to fill the void. In 2010, the Japanese scientists were the first to use this method to create a mouse and rat chimera, where the rat cells were introduced into a mouse to form a missing pancreas.

Last year, the same team that is now working on a sheep embryo, announced that it had, for the most part, cured diabetes in mice after transplanting a mouse pancreas it had grown in a rat.

There’s still a long way to go until this could be possible to replicate on humans, the researchers said. Unlike the rats or mice, both sheep and pigs have organs similar in size to those of a human.

“It could take five years or it could take 10 years but I think eventually we will be able to do this,” the study’s co-author Hiromitsu Nakauchi of Stanford University said, as cited by the Guardian.

Ross estimated that for the experiment to go forward, at least one percent of an embryo’s cells must be human and the time allowed to develop an embryo must be extended. In addition to complex scientific problems that needed to be solved, the work has been plagued by ethical concerns and protests by animal rights activists.

The bulk of their concerns center around the chance a sheep or a pig embryo could become more of a human than desired if human brain cells are accidentally developed. Ross admitted that the scientists have been taking this issue seriously, and if the researchers run into with this problem it may stall the research forever.

“Let’s say that if our results indicate that the human cells all go to the brain of the animal, then we may never carry this forward,” Ross said, while Nakauchi said he is sure the scientists will be able to isolate the designated region, meaning they won’t end up creating a “pig with a human face or human brain.”



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Scientists Reverse The Age of White Blood Cells In A Female Human Being – They’re Now 20 Years Younger

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Elizabeth Parris, the CEO of Bioviva USA Inc, has become the very first human being to successfully, from a biological standpoint, reverse the  age of her white blood cells, thanks to her own company’s experimental therapies. Bioviva utilizes intramural and extramural peer-reviewed research to create therapies for age-related diseases (Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart-disease), and now, they have reversed 20 years of ‘telomere shortening’ in a human for the first time.

Telomeres are short segments of DNA that cap the ends of every chromosome and act as a protective feature against wear and tear, which occurs naturally as the human body ages. As we age, these telomeres become shorter and shorter as our cells continue to divide more and more. Eventually they become too short to protect the chromosome, which is what causes our cells to malfunction and age related diseases to start setting in.

In September of last year, the 44 year old volunteered to partake in two of her own company’s experimental gene therapies; one intended to battle stem cell depletion, which happens when we age and leads to various age related diseases, and the other intended to protect against loss of muscle mass with age.

In Parrish’s case, specialized clinical testing in Houston, Texas, revealed that her telomeres were short for her age, which left her vulnerable to age-related diseases earlier on in life.

This type of gene therapy has been tested before, but prior to Parrish, it had only been used to lengthen the telomeres of cultured cells and mice; it has never before been tried on a human patient. The successful trial in mice was conducted by Maria Blasco and her team at the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) in Madrid, who reported the telomerase gene result in 2012.

Blasco told The Scientist in an email, “We demonstrated that AAV9-Tert gene therapy was sufficient to delay age-related pathologies and extend both median and maximum longevity in mice. Many pathologies were delayed, including cancer.” (source)

After the gene therapy was completed on Parrish, the company’s website revealed the astonishing results of the experiment:

In March 2016, the same tests were taken again by SpectraCell revealed that her telomeres had lengthened by approximately 20 years, from 6.71kb to 7.33kb. This implies that Parrish’s white blood cells (leukocytes) have become biologically younger. These findings were independently verified by the Brussels-based non-profit HEALES (HEalthy Life Extension Company), and the Biogerontology Research Foundation, a UK-based charity committed to combating age-related diseases.

After learning of the experiment’s success, Parrish remarked that “if these results are anywhere near accurate, we’ve made history.” The company will continue to monitor her blood in the months and years to come, and will be testing new gene therapies to restore age related damage. Researchers still need to determine if the success seen in leukocytes can be extended to other organs and tissues, as well as repeated in other patients. For now, this is the first and only instance of such therapy being used (and successful) on a human, and was intended to prove the safety of this technique. Long term scientific scrutiny is still necessary to say for certain whether this is a safe and viable procedure, but what’s happened so far is almost unbelievable.

It’s a very promising discovery, and one that has already attracted attention from various investment and scientific communities. One example is Deep Knowledge Life Sciences (DKLS), a UK investment fund company which has already made BioViva a portfolio company of theirs.

According to Parish, “the best-case scenario would be that we added 20 years of health onto the leukocytes, and the immune system might be more productive and catch more of the bad guys.” “But we have to wait and find out. The proof will be in the data,” she said.


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Scientists Boosted Human Memory With a Brain Implant

A Bionic Memory Boost

With everyone from Elon Musk to MIT to the U.S. Department of Defense researching brain implants, it seems only a matter of time before such devices are ready to help humans extend their natural capabilities. Now, a professor from the University of Southern California (USC) has demonstrated the use of a brain implant to improve the human memory, and the device could have major implications for the treatment of one of the U.S.’s deadliest diseases.

Dong Song is a research associate professor of biomedical engineering at USC, and he recently presented his findings on a “memory prosthesis” during a meeting of the Society for Neuroscience in Washington D.C. According to a New Scientist report, the device is the first to effectively improve the human memory.

The Evolution of Brain-Computer Interfaces [INFOGRAPHIC]The Evolution of Brain-Computer Interfaces [INFOGRAPHIC]
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To test his device, Song’s team enlisted the help of 20 volunteers who were having brain electrodes implanted for the treatment of epilepsy.

Once implanted in the volunteers, Song’s device could collect data on their brain activity during tests designed to stimulate either short-term memory or working memory. The researchers then determined the pattern associated with optimal memory performance and used the device’s electrodes to stimulate the brain following that pattern during later tests.

Based on their research, such stimulation improved short-term memory by roughly 15 percent and working memory by about 25 percent. When the researchers stimulated the brain randomly, performance worsened.

As Song told New Scientist, “We are writing the neural code to enhance memory function. This has never been done before.”

A Growing Problem

While a better memory could be useful for students cramming for tests or those of us with trouble remembering names, it could be absolutely life-changing for people affected by dementia and Alzheimer’s.

As Bill Gates noted when announcing plans to invest $100 million of his own money into dementia and Alzheimer’s research, the disease is a multi-level problem that’s positioned to get even worse.

Age is the greatest risk factor for Alzheimer’s, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, with the vast majority of sufferers over the age of 65. With advances in medicine and healthcare continuously increasing how long we live, that segment of the population is growing dramatically, and by 2030, 20 percent of U.S. citizens are expected to be older than 65.

This increase in the number of potential dementia sufferers can be costly in both a financial and emotional sense. In 2016, the total cost of healthcare and long-term care for those suffering from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease was an estimated $236 billion, and according to the Alzheimer’s Association, the more severe a person’s cognitive impairment, the higher the rates of depression in their familial caregivers.

Of course, further testing is required before Song’s device could be approved as a treatment for dementia or Alzheimer’s, but if it is able to help those patients regain even part of their lost memory function, the impact would be felt not only by the patients themselves, but their families and even the economy at large.

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Careers For Those Who Want To Be Scientists


The new future is near. The latest events of the science world have shown that the ideas of living on other planets, high-speed underground roads and even the real opportunity to cure cancer will never be stupid or crazy anymore. It is not just a matter of the outcome, that is, the incredible things we will use in our everyday life, but the new educational system as well. That system will be responsible for tuition and training, especially in the fields of technology and medicine. However, today, we really don’t know what the new professions will be but we can guess that taking into account all current scientific trends.

Above we present you the 5 professions which will potentially be the most in-demand ones in the near future. If you have a passion for technology, medicine, and ecology and you want to study science as well, then you can choose something to focus on right now.

1. Biomedical Engineer

It is about the creation of genetic materials and medicines which will help to replace every or almost every part of the human body. Don’t confuse it with organ transplantation. The biomedical engineers of the future should be the ones who create artificially fully functioning hands, legs, ears (there are already the reports about successful operations), etc. The plastic surgeons are in the world’s top 5 highest paying experts. Their average annual salary is 100,000 or 200,000 euro and even more. So, just imagine how much you could earn working as the biomedical engineer.

2. Nano-doctor

There is no doubt that we will use the nanotechnologies in the future to change our brain power. Although, the nano-doctors will focus on various needs related to the health and human capabilities, the brain issues will be in the spotlight. Especially, we wait they will be able to implant the memory “extensions” into the human brain in the near future. Nowadays, there are no examples of successful experiments in this area, however, the research is ongoing.

3. Pilots, Architects, And Space Tourist Guides

It is possible that in twenty or fifteen years we will have the opportunity to travel to other planets or just fly in mesosphere (50-80 km or 31-50 miles), thermosphere (80-700 km or 50-440 miles) and exosphere (700-10,000 km or 440-6,200 miles). Anybody knows how it will work but we can visualize this future like Jules Vern did it about the early 20th century. So, in case it is possible, the world science tuition system, sure, will be focused on everything related to the aircrafts flying, construction of the space buildings and bases, astronomy, space meteorology, etc.

4. Consultant Of The New Sciences

Given the continuous evolution of the sciences, the society will need the special ethics to suggest what is the best way to develop, implement and use them, as well as which one it is better to avoid. We know a little bit, or almost nothing about nanotechnologies, intensive space research, progressive (nowadays, we call them fantastic) curation technologies and many other areas. That’s why it will be necessary to follow the system of the business development. There is, for example, the manufacturing company, which wants to grow its business and there is the consulting company, which produces nothing but knows well the best way to use different financial and marketing techniques. Let’s say, you are the owner of an innovative science implementing consulting company. Why not?

5. Vertical Farmer

This is not a profession of the future. There are many real vertical garden projects all around the world. However, given perspective, trend, world population increasing and many other factors we can say that it will be one of the most in-demand jobs, which brings together the architecture, agriculture and landscape design. The experts in all three areas earn from 50,000 to 100,000 euro per year an average. The present days and the near future is an excellent time to be a vertical farmer. Why? Still, there are no hundreds of standards, which will tell you what your concept should be. You could create something absolutely innovative over and over.


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Scientists Discover Major Reason Behind Cancer, May Find Cure for the Disease


Researchers have taken a new step toward tackling the ruthless disease claiming some eight million lives annually.

Scientists came to the conclusion that changes in the immune system are a key factor that provokes cancer, along with genetic mutations.

The prevention and treatment of cancer should be based on immune-related factors rather than only genetic ones, a research team from the University of Dundee in Scotland found out.

“This is still very early days but if we are proven right then you could be talking about a whole new way to treat and prevent cancer,” Dr. Thea Newman, a senior author of the study, was quoted by MedicalExpress as saying.

As it turned out, an aging immune system plays a more significant role in cancer incidence than it was previously thought. In addition, men are more likely to develop cancer than women, the research suggests.

According to Newman, many modern studies related to cancer are based on analyzing genetic mutations and the ways to deal with them, which is insufficient.

For decades it was believed that mutations arise either as a result of a genetic predisposition, or because of lifestyle and the environment, are the main factors that cause the disease, but this is only partly true, she argued.

“Nearly all of the mainstream research into cancer is based on how we can understand genetic mutations, target them and thereby cure the disease. We’re not debating the fact that mutations cause cancer, but are asking whether mutations alone can account for the rapid rise in cancer incidence with age when ageing causes other profound changes in the body,” the scientist said.

Cancer claims lives of about eight million people each year. The research conducted by Newman’s research team could have a major impact on the global fight against cancer, if the results are proven and further explored in future studies.



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Is Doomsday upon us? Scientists have set the clock to "two minutes to midnight" over global nuclear threat

Image: Is Doomsday upon us? Scientists have set the clock to “two minutes to midnight” over global nuclear threat

(Natural News)
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) has moved the “Doomsday Clock” 30 seconds closer to midnight, leaving us only two minutes away from global Armageddon. The decision to move the hands of this hypothetical timepiece was made last January 25 amidst growing concern of a nuclear attack — particularly between North Korea and the United States. This is the closest we have ever been to midnight since 1953, when both our country and the then-U.S.S.R started work on hydrogen bombs, a far more powerful class of nuclear weapons than atomic bombs.

Lawrence Krauss, the chair of the BAS Board of Sponsors and the director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University said that no one factor can be “blamed” for their decision to inch the clock hands further. Despite erroneous reports that President Donald Trump is solely to blame for the movement, Krauss emphasized that several factors influenced the board’s decision. These included the increased reliance on and the highly probable risk of nuclear war; a massive loss of trust in political institutions, the media, and even science (Krauss noted that “facts” are no longer seen as reliable); and confused responses to climate change. These threats have undermined each and every government’s ability to help their citizens; a domino effect, Krauss explains, that led to their approval to move the clock forward.

Adjusting the Doomsday clock requires a united decision by the BAS’ Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates and the BAS’ Science and Security Board which is composed of scientists whose field of study focus on nuclear technology and climate change. They meet twice a year to discuss all events that are of global importance.

The danger of nuclear conflagration

Nuclear war is a very real threat. Officials have stated that the threat of war between the United States and North Korea “[increases] every day” — an alarm further acknowledged when North Korea tested intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) capable of hitting large parts of our country only last December.

There is also evidence that proves that the global nuclear realm is escalating. Other countries, such as China, are increasing their nuclear capabilities. Countries in the Middle East as well remain a threat due to their focus on expanding their nuclear arsenals.

When the Cold War ended in the early 1990s, the number of nuclear weapons made by both our country and Russia decreased. Incidentally, that was the furthest we’ve ever been to midnight, according to Doomsday clock predictions — we were then a massive 17 minutes away from destruction. Nevertheless, the years have inched us slowly (and then quite rapidly) back into chaos. The start of the new century saw other countries developing their own nuclear power.

Tick, tock, where are the watchmen?

The Doomsday clock was established in 1947 as a metaphor to show how close humanity is to destroying the world through our own making. It was originally set to seven minutes to midnight. The time stayed the same until 1949 when the Soviet Union successfully tested its first atomic bomb. This caused BAS to move the clock from seven minutes to midnight to three minutes to midnight.

The clock has moved back and forth over the years but has generally remained between three to four minutes from destruction. Its movement to two minutes to midnight is meant to send a powerful message to world leaders, say BAS.

You can keep yourself updated with more news stories about the Doomsday clock at

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Scientists Develop ‘Super Wood’ That Is Stronger Than Steel

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Titanium alloys are commonly used in construction due to their strength and durability. But because they are expensive, researchers at the University of Maryland (UMD) have developed an alternative that literally grows on trees. New Atlas reports that by using a new “densification” process, the team of researchers was able to create a “super wood” that is as strong and tough as steel.

The “super wood” is made through a two-step process. First, it is boiled in a watery mixture of sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfite; this works to partially remove lignin and hemicellulose from the material. The treated wood is then hot-pressed, causing the cell walls to collapse and form into highly-aligned cellulose nanofibers. Densified wood is the end result and it is far stronger than the original material.

Said Liangbing Hu, leader of the UMD team:  

“This new way to treat wood makes it 12 times stronger than natural wood and 10 times tougher. This could be a competitor to steel or even titanium alloys, it is so strong and durable. It’s also comparable to carbon fiber, but much less expensive.”

This isn’t the first time Hu has given wood alternative uses. Over the past few years, the researcher has developed burnt-wood water filters, transparent wood, and sodium-ion batteries that are based on wood and leaves.

The researchers went as far as filing projectiles at the wood — you know, to test its strength. The natural wood, unsurprisingly, was obliterated while the super wood managed to stop the projectiles partway through.  

According to the researchers, the process can be applied to various types of wood. Additionally, it can be scaled to treat bulk amounts of wood at once. If manufacturers choose, they can even shape the desired product by bending and molding it at the beginning of the process.

The new material is exciting for many reasons. First, it is cheaper and lighter than steels and titanium alloys. It is also a renewable alternative and could allow softer woods to compete with hardier trees that require more time to grow.

“This kind of wood could be used in cars, airplanes, buildings – any application where steel is used,” said Hu. “Soft woods like pine or balsa, which grow fast and are more environmentally friendly, could replace slower-growing but denser woods like teak in furniture or buildings.”

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

Source: New Atlas

Image Credit:  University of Maryland

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