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Human-Animal Hybridization

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Human-Animal Hybridization

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Scientists have begun to further blur the line between humans and animals by creating “chimeras”—a hybrid creature that is part human and part animal. As reported here previously, Chinese scientists had successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs in 2003. More recently in Minnesota, researchers created pigs last year with human blood flowing through their bodies. It is expected this year that an experiment will proceed in California that will attempt to create mice with human brains.

The premise is that animal-human hybrids will be ideal to test drugs and to “grow” organs (e.g. a human liver) that can later be “harvested” for transplant into a person. Of course such possibilities raise some troubling questions for society: At what point would you consider the “hybrid” to be human? What rights, if any, would it have?

Some countries have banned the creation of chimeras. Irv Weissman, director of Stanford University's Institute of Cancer/Stem Cell Biology and Medicine in California, is however, against a ban in the United States: “Anybody who puts their own moral guidance in the way of this biomedical science, where they want to impose their will—not just be part of an argument—if that leads to a ban or moratorium...they are stopping research that would save human lives,” he said. Mr. Weissman is also the director of the mice with human brain experiment. He has already been successful in creating mice that have brains that are 1% human. His goal this year is to create mice that have brains that are 100% human, and then to “look for traces of human cognitive behavior.”

Saving human lives, maybe, but also destroying human life. It is another disturbing sign that man has lost all sense of proper judgment and is therefore ready to be brought to his senses.

Source: National Geographic

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