Part-human, part-piggy creatures (not pictured) have reportedly been created by a bunch of mad scientists over at the University of California, Davis, leading to uproar and a mind-blowing glimpse into the potential future of medicine. Fortunately, they didn't take the full-on sexual approach apparently favoured by a certain world leader.
The team, led by Professor Pablo Ross, is said to have managed to successfully combine human stem cells and pig DNA. The resultant 'chimera' embryos were killed off after 28 days, with the researchers believing that the animals would have grown to become pigs with internal organs fit for humans. Not to eat, but to use. For living.
It’s all very weird- and wrong- and intriguing- and fake-sounding, but there’s a soberingly real reason for the experiment. Scientists are currently working on ways to deal with a shortage of organ donors, and -- religious beliefs aside -- pigs are believed to be ideal incubators.
However, the work has raised serious moral questions, not least because the animals would be part-human. The modern world also gets really upset about the deaths of animals in general, and the thought of ripping out a man-made hybrid creature’s innards and shoving them into a person is sort of revolting this early in the day.
"I’m nervous about opening up a new source of animal suffering," said Peter Stevenson, from Compassion in World Farming, to the BBC’s Panorama show. "Let’s first get many more people to donate organs. If there is still a shortage after that, we can consider using pigs, but on the basis that we eat less meat so that there is no overall increase in the number of pigs being used for human purposes."