Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

  • Comment
  • Published:

Why it is important to study human–monkey embryonic chimeras in a dish

The study of human–animal chimeras is fraught with technical and ethical challenges. In this Comment, we discuss the importance and future of human–monkey chimera research within the context of current scientific and regulatory obstacles.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy this article

Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout

Fig. 1: Scheme of representative proposed in vitro experiments.


  1. Tan, T. et al. Cell 184, 2020–2032.e14 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Kobayashi, T. et al. Cell 142, 787–799 (2010).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Yamaguchi, T. et al. Nature 542, 191–196 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. James, D., Noggle, S. A., Swigut, T. & Brivanlou, A. H. Dev. Biol. 295, 90–102 (2006).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Das, S. et al. Nat. Biotechnol. 38, 297–302 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  6. Maeng, G. et al. Nat. Biomed. Eng. 5, 805–814 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Agoglia, R. M. et al. Nature 592, 421–427 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Cohen, M. A. et al. Cell Stem Cell 26, 579–592.e6 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Wu, J. et al. Cell 168, 473–486.e15 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Aksoy, I. et al. Stem Cell Rep. 16, 56–74 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  11. Thomas, J. et al. Regen. Med. 6, 25 (2021).

    Google Scholar 

  12. Theunissen, T. W. et al. Cell Stem Cell 19, 502–515 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Pastor, W. A. et al. Cell Stem Cell 18, 323–329 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  14. Choi, J. et al. Nature 548, 219–223 (2017).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  15. Wu, J. & Barbaric, I. Dev. Biol. 476, 209–217 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Ma, H. et al. Science 366, eaax7890 (2019).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  17. Niu, Y. et al. Science 366, aaw5754 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Tyser, R. C. V. et al. Nature 600, 285–289 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  19. Yu, L. et al. Nature 591, 620–626 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  20. Yanagida, A. et al. Cell Stem Cell 28, 1016–1022.e4 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  21. Kagawa, H. et al. Nature 601, 600–605 (2022).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  22. Wu, J. et al. Nature 540, 51–59 (2016).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  23. Sharma, A. et al. Science 350, 640 (2015).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  24. Garry, D. J., Caplan, A. L. & Garry, M. G. Stem Cell Rep. 14, 538–540 (2020).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Greely, H. T. & Farahany, N. A. Cell 184, 1962–1963 (2021).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  26. Clarke, S., Zohmy, H. & Savulescu, J. Rethinking Moral Status Ch. 10 (Oxford Univ. Press, 2021).

  27. Cyranoski, D. Nature (2019).

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  28. De Faveri, G. New guidelines for human-animal hybrids research released. The Academy of Medical Sciences (2016).

  29. The Academy of Medical Sciences. Animals Containing Human Material (2011).

  30. Solender, A. Senate kills GOP legislation to prohibit ‘certain human–animal chimeras’. Forbes (2021).

  31. Louisiana Revised Statutes §89.6 Human–animal hybrids. Louisiana State Legislature (2021).

  32. Arizona Revised Statutes §36–2312 Production of human embryo or human–animal hybrid: purchase or sale: prohibitions: violation: classification: exemptions. Arizona State Legislature (2022).

  33. Isasi, R. M. & Knoppers, B. M. Eur. J. Health Law 13, 9–25 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Baylis, F., Darnovsky, M., Hasson, K. & Krahn, T. M. CRISPR J. 3, 365–377 (2020).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  35. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. The Emerging Field of Human Neural Organoids, Transplants, and Chimeras (National Academies Press, 2021).

  36. International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR). Guidelines for Stem Cell Research and Clinical Translation (ISSCR, 2021).

  37. Hyun, I. et al. Stem Cell Rep. 16, 1409–1415 (2021).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank E. Olson for input and feedback.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



This work is the product of extensive collaboration and deliberation among all the authors. A.D.L.A. conceived the original idea and wrote the original version of the manuscript. V.M., N.B., G.C., H.D., J.C.I.B., W.J., Y.N., D.P., M.P., N.P., C.P.-A., M.S., J.C.R.S., T.T., A.T., A.R., and E.T.Z. provided conceptual contributions and wrote, edited, and gave final approval to the manuscript. J.K., Y.-H.L., and T.W. helped with editing of the manuscript. A.R. and E.T.Z. provided important conceptual contributions to the final version of the manuscript and, together with A.D.L.A., took the lead in writing, revising, and editing the final versions of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Alejandro De Los Angeles.

Ethics declarations

Competing Interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Methods thanks Kazuto Kato and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

De Los Angeles, A., Regenberg, A., Mascetti, V. et al. Why it is important to study human–monkey embryonic chimeras in a dish. Nat Methods 19, 914–919 (2022).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing