What is a chimera?

DNA in the Lab Read more from
Chapter Biology in the Laboratory

The chimera from Greek mythology is a fire-breathing monster with a lion’s head, a goat’s body, and a serpent’s tail. The chimera of biotechnology is an animal formed from two different species or strains—that is, a mixture of cells from two very early embryos. Most chimeras used in research are made from different mouse strains—and they cannot reproduce.


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