Human cloning was and still one of the most controversial subjects to experiment, study, fund, or even discuss
But then with time the idea took a different approach, or to be accurate was the solution to other issues the medical community was facing
One of these issues was diabetes, with the side effects of the medical treatment and the insulin injection or implanted devices, then some patients develop tolerance to the insulin so they need to increase the dose.
Also the idea of the patient depending on the insulin dose daily and could go through some nasty side effects in case of missing the dose, was the main motive to find a new solution.
Hence, started the race to find a replacement, the 1st thought was of course the pancreatic transplant, but it needed to be harvested from a fresh dead body and that the deceased should be relative (1st degree is better) to have a better chance in avoiding immunological rejection.
Then the idea moved towards stem cells, as the undifferentiated cells theoretically pushed towards growing into any human organ, And once this idea has sparked the flames never stopped, and was considered the base of long-term fight against diabetes.
Earlier this year a breakthrough was achieved when a team of biologists successfully grown human organs by injecting stem cells in a chimera pig embryo, so that the embryo would develop both pig and human organs, and later harvesting these organs to be transplanted in human body won’t face the immunological rejection risk as it would be formed by the human’s own steam cells.
It’s not yet successful but the trial embryo of human –pig chimera showed promising growth at last after many trials, and then it was stopped at the age of 3-4 months, as the Idea is to grow organs only not to create a Human-Pig chimera.
On a lower level the same principle was tried on rats and mice, as they are close on evolutionary level.
Stem cells from the mouse was injected to the rats embryo forcing it to develop full organs (like pancreas) with full mouse cells, which was finally successful and was transplanted to the mouse, and wasn’t immunologically rejected as it’s the mouse’s own cells.
Applying the same principle on the previously mentioned experiment regarding the human-pig chimera would take more time and more trials, but the recent results is considered as a good sign that they are moving on the right track.
Another parallel plan to growing human organs is called “Human on a chip”, which started by growing stem cells into specific organ’s cells on a petri dish to be a tiny organs and called “Organoids”, it was successfully achieved with stomach cells.
At the beginning the aim was to test the nature of these cells, get a better look at it, test different drugs effect on it better than drug trials on animals (like mice) to get accurate results.
But now it has developed more towards the idea of growing a whole organ out of these cells by 3D printing personalized transplantable organs, of course that’s still in development and still under trial, but for now Organoids are used for drug testing.