10 weird experiments with animal embryos

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10 weird experiments with animal embryos
10 weird experiments with animal embryos

Panda-rabbit, turtle-snail, fish-plant - such strange experiments with animal embryos were carried out by scientists.

chimpanzee dog

Chicken with partridge brain

Scientists from different countries have tried to create such a "hybrid" more than once. They took part of the partridge's brain and implanted it into a domestic chicken embryo. And what? Many of the "chisplocuropaths" survived, but some clucked like partridges, while others adopted their habits. Alas, it was not necessary to observe such strange behavior of mutant birds for a long time: they all quickly died, since the body of the unfortunate chickens rejected the gray matter of the partridge as foreign tissue. But the reverse experiment - to transplant a part of the chicken's brain into a partridge - is impossible, because, luckily for partridges, their head is smaller than a chicken.

Panda rabbit in cat womb

Scientists tried to create such a chimera in 2009, when they took a rabbit's egg, removed the nucleus from it and replaced it with giant panda DNA. The cells of the resulting mutant embryo began to divide normally, but it was not possible to transplant such an embryo into the rabbit's womb. Therefore, geneticists turned their attention to cats. As a result, out of 21 cats, only one unfortunate managed to plant two embryos of pandocrolits. But, unfortunately (or fortunately), the cat soon died of pneumonia.

A cross between a toad and a tadpole

"Regular" Siamese twins are genetically identical. But in 1979, scientists decided to cross non-identical creatures by combining the embryos of different types of frogs - Rana esculenta and Rana dalmatina. The first type of frog develops twice as long as the second. Therefore, when R. esculenta was still a tadpole, R. dalmatina was already half frog. Of course, problems began, because the tadpoles must be in the water all the time, and the frogs need air. It all ended with the fact that some of the "frogheads" died themselves, while the scientists took pity on others and put them to sleep.


Toad tadpole / © Flickr

Duck turtle

Did you know that the turtle and the duck had a common ancestor? True, the last such ancestor lived about 255 million years ago, even before the appearance of dinosaurs. Despite this, in 2013, scientists tried to transplant duck cells into a turtle embryo. To everyone's joy, the cubs were born and looked like ordinary turtles. With a more detailed analysis, scientists still managed to find duck cells in them - in the liver and other organs. However, over 99.9% of the turtles remain turtles.

Sheep in the womb of rabbits

Scientists came up with a terrifying idea in 1962: they decided to use rabbits as storage for sheep embryos, because, in their opinion, such a solution would reduce the cost of transporting valuable biomaterial from one continent to another. Sheep embryos were implanted in female rabbits, which were shipped from England to South Africa for as little as $ 8 apiece. Then the embryos were transplanted again - already in the womb of the sheep. In the course of the experiment, several lambs were indeed born. But for the rabbits, everything ended more than sadly: they were put to sleep, and then cremated.

Toothy chicks

70-80 million years ago, teeth in reptiles, the descendants of which, apparently, are birds, including chickens, were a common phenomenon: they were all toothy. Chickens have no teeth today. To correct this "defect", in 2003, scientists implanted in a chicken embryo the corresponding cells of mice (which, as you know, have teeth, and are very sharp). Geneticists achieved their goal - toothy chickens were born.


Mountain kid in a domestic goat

If a mountain goat embryo is implanted into the womb of a domestic goat, it will not take root and will result in a miscarriage.Scientists are aware of this, so in 1999 they decided to do something differently, by implanting an embryo into an already pregnant domestic goat. And the pregnancy went on normally, the ibex developed alongside its domestic brethren. But the development of the embryo of a domestic goat is faster than that of a mountain goat, so the transplanted kid was born prematurely. In order for him to survive, special medical attention was needed.



Bearing in mind the indignation of many people, outraged by the actions of scientists conducting such experiments, we hasten to remind you: they do this not out of curiosity, but for the good of mankind. A big problem remains, for example, the total lack of organs for transplantation to sick people. Every day, thousands of patients die without waiting for their turn for a transplant. Therefore, scientists are looking for opportunities to grow human organs in the bodies of other animals.

But first you need to conduct research with closely related animal species. Therefore, in 2010, geneticists created mouse embryos that have lost the ability to form their own pancreas. Then the mouse embryos were implanted with rat cells. The latter really "built" the missing organ, but, alas, they also intervened in the process of forming other organs and parts of the body. The creatures, however, were born, but they could not be fully called either mice or rats.


Fish plant

Perhaps for the same reasons of economy, in 2011, scientists decided to grow fish that feed on sunlight and carbon dioxide. To do this, a fertilized female zebrafish was implanted with the bacterium Synechococcus elongatus, which extracts energy through photosynthesis. Everything went well, until after 12 days the body of the embryo began to acquire a dark pigment (before that it was transparent), which blocked sunlight and cut off the fish from "food".

Embryos in a mouse eye

But this already sounds really scary. What connection can there be between the uterus and the eye? But back in 1947, scientists nevertheless found this connection and, with the help of terrible experience, proved that the eye for a short time can really become a womb for an embryo. Scientists managed to implant fertilized mouse eggs into the mouse's eye, while the embryos did not die, but continued to develop. But as the embryo grew, or the eyes, the embryo itself flowed out or dried out, leaving a trace in the poor mouse's eye that resembled a scar. The main conclusion of the researchers was that the embryos felt good both in the eye of the female mouse and in the eye of the male.

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