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Author Archive: Carolyn Neuhaus

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08/15/2016

Get the Public Involved in Chimera Research at NIH

by Carolyn Plunkett Neuhaus, Ph.D.

NIH is seeking public comment on a new policy regarding chimeras. From the Greek word for a fire-breathing animal with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a snake’s tail, “chimera” in this context means a non-human organism that has human components – such as human tissues or organs. Scientists create chimeras by inserting human cells (usually induced pluripotent cells) into a non-human animal embryo.

Chimeras allow scientists to study human tissue and organ development and human diseases without doing experiments on actual humans. For example, they could study the development of treatment of human liver diseases by growing human livers in pigs.…

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