back to article We've heard of spam filters but this is ridiculous: Pig-monkey chimeras developed in a Chinese laboratory

Scientists in China are laying claim to the first ever pig-monkey chimeras to be born in what they hope will be a breakthrough for biomedicine, not just fuel for your nightmares. The apparent advancement, made by boffins at the Beijing State Key Laboratory of Stem Cell and Reproductive Biology, saw the live piglets born with …

  1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

    Nothing new. I've had my fair share of encounters with pigmonkeys which usually are found somewhere in middle management.

    On a second thought though, it not a fair comparison, neither for pigs nor for monkeys. Nor for pigmonkeys.

    1. imanidiot Silver badge

      Manbearpigs?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Finding loopholes in religious food rules

    But Rabbi, it isn't really pig, so bacon from this animal should be OK, right?

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

      Depends. To these pigs have toes?

      1. Evil Auditor Silver badge

        Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

        Well, the pigs are not kosher, as far as I know, because they are not ruminant (and not because of their feet). But even with my very, very limited half-knowledge of kosher or not I'm pretty sure that a pig-monkey chimaera that happens to be ruminant will still be considered unclean even if only for the monkey bits.

        This begs the question: would a hybrid between two kosher animals still be kosher?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

          > would a hybrid between two kosher animals still be kosher?

          It would be kosherer

        2. veti Silver badge

          Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

          I'm not Jewish, but my understanding is that the rules for determining kosherness have nothing to do with the animal's ancestry, and everything to do with its own inherent properties.

          If it's shaped like a pig and it acts like a pig, then it's not kosher - not because it's a pig, but because it's not a ruminant. If, on the other hand, you could genetically engineer a pig that chewed the cud, then it would be kosher.

          1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

            Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

            Aren't cattle ruminants too?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

      Aren't Beaver actually fish in some ecumenical way? <insert mandatory beaver joke>

      https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/thoughtful-animal/once-upon-a-time-the-catholic-church-decided-that-beavers-were-fish/

      1. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

        That would be an ecumenical matter.

        1. Jaap Aap

          Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

          Feck! Arse! Girls! Drink! Drink!

          If that guy would have been made leader of the church that religion would flourish.

      2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

        Beavers swim in water, so...

    3. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Re: Finding loopholes in religious food rules

      But Rabbi, it isn't really pig, so bacon from this animal should be OK, right?

      It isn't about species, but about build and behaviour. Even if these chimeras have completely split hoofs, I strongly doubt they chew the cud, so those are treife.

  3. Spherical Cow Bronze badge

    They should start with turducken, I imagine it would be both easier and tastier.

  4. WoodstockWillie

    Clearly, this is what you get when you monkey with pigs. No, wait - this proves that monkeys are pigs? Gaa - I'm confused.

  5. W.S.Gosset Silver badge

    TV remake

    Early days yet, as they shoot for the ultimate new low-cost single-actor TV show: Monkey-Pigsy-Fish-Priest !

    1. John Jennings

      Re: TV remake

      Think the Fish was called Sandy, and the priest was tripitakka (or something) :)

      Hard to beat a show with a monkey king who plucks his chest hair to produce hundreds of kung fu minimees!

      Oh, has an unbreakable, scalable staff, and a personal flying cloud.

      1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: TV remake

        The English dubs were pure genius.

        Oooo, it gets bigger when you rub it.

        1. Wellyboot Silver badge

          Re: TV remake

          You've got to love UK childrens TV from the '70s

        2. Bit Brain

          Re: TV remake

          A few years back a friend came over to visit from Japan and I showed her an episode of Monkey (she'd grown up with the original Japanese version). She thought the English dub was absolutely fantastic. She said that the voice actors really captured the essence of the characters.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: TV remake

            I've seen footage of Miriam Margolyes reminiscing about recording those dubs. Apparently they were great fun to do.

    2. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      Re: TV remake

      It's a TV remake alright - except that you got the wrong show.

      Check out South Park

      https://www.southparkstudios.co.uk/clips/103344/four-assed-monkey

  6. Khaptain Silver badge

    Is this really necessary ?

    I can think of a hundred other things that scientists could be doing but this is definately not one of them..

    Fucking around with ADN, cells at this level will eventually lead to something very much unwanted...... Someone will eventually take things out of the public lab, into a private lab and then the monstrosities start.... All in the name of money. pseudo research, assistance etc....

    Evolution takes hundreds, thousands or millions of years to determine what should or should not survive through natural process, selection.. We are pushing that now down to a couple of days and "hoping" that nothing will go wrong.... I use the word "hope" as this is not theoretical science.....

    This is seriously scary shit....

    1. jake Silver badge

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      Nah. For one thing, they die quickly, within days of birth ... if they are carried to full term in the first place. For another, they probably can't reproduce if they do make it into adulthood. These things are a genetic dead-end before they breath air for the first time.

      1. Mephistro Silver badge

        Re: Is this really necessary ?

        And even if they ever reproduce, they just will produce members of one of the two* original species.

        Note*: Or more!

      2. fajensen Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: Is this really necessary ?

        Well, The viruses might see them as a 2^16 generations of search and selection to a more glorious future where they can infect not only pigs but also people.

        It is speculated that both Ebola and Aids started out as monkey diseases.

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: For another, they probably can't reproduce

        stage 2: make them reproduce

        stage 3533: make them reproduce in the wild and make them feed on defenceless bi-peds

        p.s. and please, don't ask me why the (...) scientists lick their (...) balls. It's not because they can, they're not animals, they have VALUES. High values, like... advancement of science and such. Ah well, and a paycheck too, but hey, DEFINITELY the advancement of science! :(

    2. Al fazed
      Go

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      Necessary doesn't come into it anymore.

      When you wrote, "Someone will eventually take things out of the public lab", it reminded me of home videos I've recently seen on YouTube, showing you how to do everything from make your own CBD oil to Gene splitting and splicing for dummies.

    3. Persona Silver badge

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      No this research is clearly wrong. 100% wrong, and absolutely backwards.

      The right thing to do would be to put the pig cells into the monkeys so the monkeys were...… mmmm bacon ….. inside.

    4. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      >"This is seriously scary shit...."

      Yes, and I think I have already seen this movie: Planet of the Monkey-Pigs?

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      > I can think of a hundred other things that scientists could be doing but this is definately not one of them..

      The ultimate objective, I assume, is to be able to grow pure human organs inside a pig for later transplanting into a person, something that is seen as possibly the only way to provide a supply or organs for transplant that can match the demand.

      This research is an early preliminary on the way to growing monkey organs in pigs, which would allow the method to be tested before switching to human organs.

    6. imanidiot Silver badge

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      Evolution takes hundreds, thousands or millions of years to determine what should or should not survive through natural process, selection..

      Humans have been selectively breeding flora and fauna for centuries now. We can alter a plant or creature significantly within a human lifetime. I'd hardly call that thousands or millions of years. It's not up to the same level as direct gene editing but humans have been fucking with nature since we first started walking upright.

      (Also, this process of breeding chimeras takes more than "a couple of days" and it's quite easy to control the breeding/reproduction of animals. There's no chance of a catastrophic "humanity is screwed" type event with these particular experiments.)

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Is this really necessary ?

        "(Also, this process of breeding chimeras takes more than "a couple of days" and it's quite easy to control the breeding/reproduction of animals. There's no chance of a catastrophic "humanity is screwed" type event with these particular experiments.)"

        Cats with thumbs?

        1. jake Silver badge

          Re: Is this really necessary ?

          "Cats with thumbs?"

          Good point. If cats get thumbs, they will be able to use a can opener ... and humanity will die after rodents over breed and destroy our food supply.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Is this really necessary ?

        I'd also take issue with the OP's use of the word "should". There is no "should", as that implies some sort of decision making process over what would constitute a desired result. Evolution ain't like that. The relevant words for survival of the fittest are "did" and "could". Without some sort of guiding conscience deciding what "should" happen it makes little difference whether evolution occurs in the natural world over thousands of generations or inside a lab within a few months.

        My main issue with this sort of research is that it seems unlikely to generate the desired result (human organs from non-human sources). However, sometimes interesting science comes from unpromising starting points. Ethically speaking these ideas still beat the hell out of using Uyghurs as disposable sources of human organs, which is what the Chinese (allegedly) do now.

    7. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
      Boffin

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      I can think of a hundred other things that scientists could be doing but this is definately not one of them..

      To bring up a relevant quote, "Science isn't about 'why'! It's about 'why not?'!". And given that the major "why not" here is (western) ethical concerns, it's not surprising that the Chinese(with their different hangups) would pursue it given the theoretical payoff.

    8. teknopaul Silver badge

      Re: Is this really necessary ?

      Yes.

      If someone cracks manufacturing o-negative human blood in pigs its going to be a game changer for lot of diseases.

      You might live to see it.

      1. AceRimmer1980
        Boffin

        Could, Should

        Ooh, aah, running, screaming..

  7. Version 1.0 Silver badge

    Polipigmonkeyticians are coming

    1. OssianScotland Silver badge

      Unfair.... Completly Unfair.... to the Pigs, Monkeys and Hybrids

      1. HildyJ Silver badge

        Besides, everyone knows politicians are lizard-human hybrids.

        1. OldMzungu
          Pint

          Have a beer for the oblique Adams reference - whose initials are DNA

  8. TRT Silver badge

    The unions will be up in arms about this...

    Its just blatant management interference to reduce the staffing of transportation services for Buddhist monks embarking on dangerous holy missions. These are valuable members of any entourage, and combining safety-critical escort roles in such a fashion is a simple cost-saving exercise at the expense of the safety of the travelling public. Coupled with this, recent attempts to shift the mission so it makes 100% use of The Cloud is utterly undermining the entire principle and rationale of undertaking a journey to Ghandara on foot.

    1. MyffyW Silver badge

      Re: The unions will be up in arms about this...

      Is that you @amanfrommars ?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: The unions will be up in arms about this...

        Just supporting our brothers in the Amalgamated Union of Philosophers, Sages, Luminaries and Other Professional Thinking Persons. After all the Minor Deities Personification and Manifestations Guild represent the guards working alongside and protecting their members. I shall be consulting with brothers Majikthise and Vroomfondel this afternoon, and we shall have to put the matter to our combined membership.

      2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

        Re: The unions will be up in arms about this...

        I think he's one of those scammers who's trying to mistrain a spam filter so his emails about knock off watches will make it through.

    2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: The unions will be up in arms about this...

      Gandhara, Gandhara... they say it was in India.

  9. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge
    Coat

    Next up: laser-shark chimeras

    Oh dear, maybe I should be going

  10. KittenHuffer Silver badge

    What would you call it?!?

    Would it be a Mig? Or a Ponkey?

    Or were they being prescient when they aired Pinky and the Brain?

    1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: What would you call it?!?

      Pinky and Porky

    2. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

      Re: What would you call it?!?

      Isn't the order determined by which is the male and the female?

  11. RichardB

    So they've already managed to breed Egg Heads?

  12. Mr Dogshit

    Halal bacon - yay!

    1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

      Nope, monkeys are haram, just like pigs.

      1. Reg Reader 1 Bronze badge

        I'm no expert, but maybe two harams make a right. ;)

  13. Rich 11 Silver badge

    The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters, but rather to figure out if it will be possible to develop human organs inside pigs that could then be harvested and used for transplants.

    Thanks for the clarification, Dr Moreau.

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      "The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters, but rather to figure out if it will be possible to develop human organs inside pigs that could then be harvested and used for transplants."

      This would then allow our rather more alcoholic, drug abusive, Hollywoord stars, politicians or otherwise , rich bastards to live for much longer thereby affording the rest of the planet the sufferance of having to put up with yet another TV interview with aforesaid has-been.

      1. TRT Silver badge

        "alcoholic, drug abusive, Hollywoord stars, politicians or otherwise , rich bastards"

        It all becomes clear why they use pigs, then.

        1. veti Silver badge

          Would you rather they used humans?

      2. imanidiot Silver badge

        The need for transplant organs far exceeds the availability and unfortunately affect pretty much anyone regardless of income. Solving this issue benefits everyone, not just the rich! (Though it WILL benefit the rich more, since the poor are in general less likely to have access to the required health care nor the means to pay for it. That doesn't however negate the fact it will benefit everyone).

        Just hope you or anyone you know/love never end up on a wait-list for a transplant organ. There's a good chance you'll be on there for the rest of a rather shortened and much more miserable life

        1. Khaptain Silver badge

          <Though it WILL benefit the rich more, since the poor are in general less likely to have access to the required health care nor the means to pay for it. >

          So it won't really help the poor then.....

          1. imanidiot Silver badge

            It'll improve availability and lower cost, so it WILL improve access even for the poor. More people will have access. However, if you're living off of a few dollars a day at 3 days travel from the nearest hospital, it might not be of much help.

            All other factors being equal this tech is equally beneficial to everyone. Wealth tends to scew all the other factors in favor of the rich, which is why in practice they will NOTICE the benefit of technology more.

    2. OssianScotland Silver badge
      Coat

      Of course, if a race of hideous super-monsters should just "happen" to be created, it would be considered a bonus....

      ...Thank you, yes, the lab coat please

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      And why not create a race of hideous super-monsters?

      The Bene Tleilax slig was not an a great idea for a predator but if you are going to have capital punishment then the possibility of being tied down and fed to one might actually be a deterrent. Although tasty the porcuswine sounds a bit too defensive to me. Now if we could bring back megatherium and add some smilodon teeth then we would be off to a good start. Vampire bats are a bit small but mixed with fruit bat the result could be interesting. We isn't anyone working on a Polar hippopotabear, brown recluse wasp or a rattlesnake mongoose? Are the worlds evil scientists really so badly short of funding?

      1. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: And why not create a race of hideous super-monsters?

        +1 for the Stainless Steel Rat ref.

        Damn... Now I want a McSwiney's burger!

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: And why not create a race of hideous super-monsters?

        Possibly they've played Fallout: New Vegas, and know what happens to people who do develop such things.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      develop human organs inside pigs that could then be harvested and used for transplants

      how about developing pig organs inside humans that could then be harvested and used for transplants? Just a thought... for later stage...

  14. DarkLordofSurrey

    Is this Kosher?

    1. OssianScotland Silver badge

      <Father Jack> That would be an ecumenical matter </Father Jack>

      (Seriously? Moderating comments for this article? When did ElReg turn into the Daily Fail?)

  15. jake Silver badge

    But I already harvest organs from hogs!

    Nose to tail, anything less is a waste.

    1. Flywheel Silver badge

      Re: But I already harvest organs from hogs!

      Sounds a bit spammy to me...

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: But I already harvest organs from hogs!

        Seldom has anyone made a rasher comment.

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    "all died within a week"

    So they brought into the world a few monstrous creations only for the poor things to suffer uselessly for an entire week before departing to a better place.

    It is cruel what we do in the name of Science.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: "all died within a week"

      What's the take-away message in this?

      1. Psmo Bronze badge

        Re: "all died within a week"

        "At least you're not a pig-monkey" ?

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: "all died within a week"

      "before departing to a better place."

      The smokehouse?

    3. RichardB

      Re: "all died within a week"

      How many weeks do they have to suffer uselessly before it stops being cruel?

    4. Al fazed
      WTF?

      Re: "all died within a week"

      But what did they taste like ?

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: "all died within a week"

        They weren't bitter at the end. More sort of sweet and sour.

    5. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "all died within a week"

      How do you know they suffered?

  17. SVV Silver badge

    The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters

    How can we be so sure? One minute it's a vaguely unsettling piece of research, the next you'll be walking through a forest and a troupe of cackling porkers will come swinging through the trees and descend towards you with ravenous bellies and malice in their eyes having escaped from their sinister captors at the monkey bacon farm and ready to take revenge.

    1. Al fazed
      Facepalm

      Re: The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters

      Yeah, and they won't be after your fucking sun glasses either..............

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters

        Who the fuck wears sunglasses in the forest whilst PigMonkey hunting?

        What is far more likely to happen is that one of these little bastarfs will steal your Hunting Rifle, then the real problems are gonna start.. It's gonna take a bunch of well equiped Boston Dynamics PigMonkey clones to successfully remove this new threat....

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters

      > The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters

      They would say that, wouldn't they.

  18. poohbear

    Oh come on... why monkeys? What's wrong with using a bird? The world is waiting for pigs that fly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      re. What's wrong with using a bird?

      and make it end with a long, bony beak (and an extra pair of legs with extra long, extra sharp talons). Long term, value-wise, it beats drones (as enemy soldier-killers). Humans are amazingly ingenious in inventing new ways to wipe out their own species...

    2. TRT Silver badge

      Cross a chicken with an octopus and then we call all have a leg.

    3. spold Silver badge

      Well these may not fly but they might swing through trees.

      Great now we have a pig that can throw it's own shit from up high, listen out for crackling noises in the canopy.

      Moink Moink.

      1. jake Silver badge

        ::mmmmm:: crackling ...

  19. batfink Silver badge

    There must have been a lab somewhere doing this for years

    I'm sure we've all met our fair share of pig-human and monkey-human chimeras in the past.

    And it's usually at the Christmas parties that these chimeras are most obvious...

    (thinks) Hmmm - "Chimeras" or "Chimerae"??

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There must have been a lab somewhere doing this for years

      Chimeras or chimerae?

      When in doubt about any animal plural, -podes is the safe choice.

      Chimerapodes.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: There must have been a lab somewhere doing this for years

        When in doubt about any animal plural, -podes is the safe choice.

        Agreed. My favourite example is antipodes.

  20. OssianScotland Silver badge

    Yes, but the really important question is "Red Sauce or Brown?"

    (The mug of builder's tea is assumed)

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Red, obvs

  21. Scott 53

    Ho Hum

    Margaret Atwood covered this in 2003. It's fair to say it didn't end well.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Ho Hum

      There was also the cybernetically enhanced pig/monkey hybrid cerebral cortex of The Peking Homunculus in Dr Who.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Ho Hum

        "The Talons of Weng-Chiang".

        Thanks for the reminder. Must watch that again.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Ho Hum

      The Two Ronnies used to do it regularly.

      I think their news desk reported that scientists crossed a German Shepherd with a vacuum cleaner, and got a dog that really puts the wind up postmen (70s or 80s so gendered language).

      For the monkey-pig chimera, I'm afraid that the joke I've thought of is not very good and also too suggestive for my sense of their level, they only wanted to be slightly rude. So I don't think they would have told us that scientist had bred an animal that can grind its own organ.

      IGMC

      1. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: Ho Hum

        > The Two Ronnies used to do it regularly.

        In a shipping accident at sea yesterday, a tanker carrying red paint collided with a tanker carrying blue paint. Both crews have been marooned.

        1. OssianScotland Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Ho Hum

          Meanwhile, on the M1, an accident near Northampton has blocked the southbound carriageway. A truck loaded with jelly and biscuits has run into a tanker load of custard. Police say that conditions are a trifle difficult.

          Yes, officer, I'll go quietly....

          1. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
            Alien

            Re: Ho Hum

            .....and a lorry load of Spanish Onions has blocked three lanes of the M6. Police are advising motorists to use the hard shoulder to cry on.

            1. David 132 Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Ho Hum

              ..and in the North, a lorryload of hair restorer has spilled on the M54. Police are combing the area.

              Meanwhile in Derby, a pet shop was ransacked of all its stock overnight. Police say they have no leads.

              1. ICPurvis47 Bronze badge
                Unhappy

                Re: Ho Hum

                Thieves broke into the local police station last night and stole the toilet seats. Police say they have nothing to go on.

  22. samcrxss

    I used to think all this DNA modification stuff was really cool, but I am now a little concerned about the ethics of it all because these animals are growing up just to die a bit later.

    That being said, it is still really cool!

    1. Khaptain Silver badge

      these animals are growing up just to die a bit later.

      We all follow the same road, it's just a question of scale.

  23. Ugotta B. Kiddingme Silver badge

    so then next up will be

    the dreaded and delicious Chalupacabra

  24. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    What's so great about evolution anyway Mr Hammond...

    "Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should..."

  25. DavCrav Silver badge

    "The experiments mark the first time scientists had been able to successfully develop pigs with monkey cells and carry them to birth."

    Are you saying there are lots of teams of scientists trying to produce genetic freaks around the world, and it just so happens that China is first? Or actually, it's probably more likely that only in China are ethics so fucked up that this sort of thing is not considered truly hideous.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Why not both. See the next sentence: "Typically, chimera experiments have been limited to rodents."

      C.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I'm always amused by packages in our lobby destined for the "Transgenic Chicken Facility", which in my mind sounds rather similar to a song I used to enjoy called "Transexual Karate Instructor" by Bamblefog.

  26. Elledan

    Lots of us are chimeras

    Recent research has shown that virtually all of us are chimeras on some level. Whether it's because over time the DNA in our various stem cells diverge due to (local) mutations, because of the cells from a fetus growing inside our uterus making into our tissues, or in the case of a lucky few, because of a merging of two embryos into a single individual.

    By definition, a chimera is only viable if the cells can cooperate sufficiently to sustain a functioning body. This implies a strong level of compatibility. For us human chimeras (I'm an XX/XY chimera, AKA 'true hermaphrodite'), it's still a bit of a lucky process, as most human chimera pregnancies never make it to term. There are simply so many points during the development process where things have to go just right or the self-destruct mechanism of the host body kicks in. And even after those hazards have been cleared, there are still internal hazards that may pop up. For me personally that most popped up in the form of one of the most confused and drawn-out puberties one could imagine.

    Basically what I'm trying to get at is that a chimera isn't necessarily something unusual or scary. And that we're all a bit of a chimera, just some more than others :)

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Lots of us are chimeras

      Female (XX) mammals are chimeras, because of the Lyon effect, where either the X from the mother or that from the father is inactivated at random yielding a 50:50 mix of cells. (think tortoiseshell cats).

      But what about this chap?

      EDIT: I see Fruit and Nutcase beat me by an hour

    2. Mike 16 Silver badge

      Re: Lots of us are chimeras

      Virtually all, if you count the mitochondria (making us eucharyote/bacteria combos), no?

      In related news, Apple has sued claiming some of the initial research was based on Apple proprietary techniques used in the Macintosh DogCow.

    3. Psmo Bronze badge
      Alien

      Re: Lots of us are chimeras

      we're all a bit of a chimera, just some more than others

      Not many of us actually have a monkey for an uncle.

      Or a pig, for that matter.

    4. DJV Silver badge

      Re: Lots of us are chimeras

      Indeed, and sometimes it causes a lot of problems: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydia_Fairchild

  27. Peddler

    Manbearpig?

    South Park proves prophetic.

  28. HildyJ Silver badge
    Trollface

    Ponkey guy

    Just how much do we REALLY know about Elon's origins?

  29. matt 83
    Joke

    A mix of pig and monkey you say?

    but shirley we already have David Cameron.

    Was going to make it a Boris joke but David is the goto pig guy.

    1. Teiwaz Silver badge

      Re: A mix of pig and monkey you say?

      Was going to make it a Boris joke but David is the goto pig guy.

      Unfortunate we can't count Boaris out yet.

      I may not like the idea of him as PM for another term, but I would vote for him in a UK remake of Monkey.

      Hell, he'd be an almost perfect cast as pigsy.

  30. Mike Moyle Silver badge

    "(T)he pair of monkey-infused piglets(...) all died within a week."

    Fell out of the trees...?

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      "David!"

      Just the no-tails.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    We've read enough sci-fi to know how this turns out

    Is it Boris?! Is it Jeremy?! No, it's a Boremy, now available on aliexpress! :(

  32. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just pig-monkey chimeras

    a political angle / best of two worlds: snout in the trough, see no evil, etc. (vote now!)

  33. disgustedoftunbridgewells Silver badge

    Can they stop pissing about with organs and instead work on making pigs grow pre-cured bacon?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      making pigs grow pre-cured bacon

      Hmm... tricky... this may take a while...

      :)

  34. Nightkiller

    Welcome to the world of Winnie the Pigoon.

  35. First Light

    Chinese human organ trade

    I find it disturbing.

    It had to happen in China, though, as they will soon run out of prisoners to harvest organs from. It''s a billion-dollar a year biz, so they better get those pimonkeys growing fast!

  36. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
  37. Marcus Fil

    Dystopia or Brave New World?

    "The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters, but rather to figure out if it will be possible to develop human organs inside pigs that could then be harvested and used for transplants."

    “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

    What Orwell failed to mention was that this will greatly trouble the medical ethics committee.

  38. StargateSg7 Bronze badge

    One of the benefits of working for a company that has a multi-hundred million dollar supercomputer is that its "Scientists" many times get access to its computational capabilities during off-hours and/or during any commercial downtime.

    And since a very large computer system with 240,000 processors CAN be used for gene sequencing AND CRISPR editing (of prokarayotic things such as bacteria and anything extremophile), it means we can INTRODUCE new codons into BOTH human and animal genomes. AND ONE of the idiotic things TWO of my colleagues are doing on their off-hours/self-directed-research is trying to sequence AND edit Chicken genomes to find out which is modern DNA and which is older inactive/junk Dinosaur DNA.

    They have stated to me they want to bring back Velociraptors and T-Rexes which are ANCESTORS of modern birds AND they have stated to me that they have FINISHED figuring what WHAT codons are modern or not, ...AND... that they are a mere year or two away from figuring WHAT the "Junk DNA" did so many millions of years ago. They are using CNN (Convolutional Neural Network) software that looks to see what amino acids would be expressed by those codons and what chemical synthesites would contribute to fast and LARGE growth of what specific types of Bird vs "Dinosaur" tissue.

    After seeing some of the graphic output of that codon simulator software, I actually DO BELIEVE they are a mere one to two years away from getting bacteria to recut and fill in "Junk" Chicken DNA to create an egg that would output a fast-growing Raptor or TRex! If we had more of ou GaAs Super-CPUs, we could run more codon simulations but since we only have one supercomputer system being use for WBE (Whole brain Emulation), they only get it on weekends and downtime. ANYWAYS !!!! Its a scary thought that we humans are actually NOW CAPABLE of differentiating between epoch-origin DNA within birds and figuring out which codons to fill-in and/or re-cut of a larger DNA string to get highly specific and targeted tissue growth.

    YES! I asked whether humans (Homo Sapiens Sapiens) too have inactive Junk DNA that can be re-expressed into viable codons AND I asked what all of that Junk DNA of ours did?

    They're answer is quite telling!

    "We're not allowed to tell you cuz it's Classified --TS-EO--"

    That is a rather high classification for MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE unprecedented in ANY SAP/CAP research program apparatus that I am familiar with. I wonder what they found?

    .

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why don't they experiment on humans? It's not that they don't have enough of them over there. And, more importantly, there's noone I know amongst them. So experiment away!

    And seriously: Why not? Human is not god's gift to the earth, au contraire.

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    real reason

    Trying to get Asian swine flu to jump the species barrier and affect primates.. SO PEOPLE WILL START PAYING ATTENTION TO IT!!!

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