ISSCR Applauds New Japanese Rules Allowing Human-to-Animal Chimeric Embryo Research

  • 13 March, 2019

The ISSCR supports research using human-animal chimeras conducted under appropriate review and oversight (ISSCR Guidelines Recommendation 2.1.5) and applauds the new Japanese rules enabling research on chimeric embryos. Research involving human-animal chimeras has led to increased understanding of human development and biology, with implications that have the potential to significantly impact human health.

“The previous use of animal models containing human cells has advanced our understanding of human biology and has shown potential for new therapeutic approaches. Responsibly conducted research using chimeric embryos will allow scientists to gain a better understanding of human development and disease,” said ISSCR President Doug Melton. “Japan’s new rules will enable a new generation of research that could potentially lead to the production of human organs for transplantation and other advances in the field of regenerative medicine.”

The new guidelines from Japan's Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology lift a prohibition on chimeric human-to-animal embryos research beyond 14 days. The new rules allow the transplantation of chimeric embryos into animals, while prohibiting the transplantation of such embryos into humans.