It's a Horned Frog World

Monday, May 09, 2005

Chimeras have gone too far

It has been normal practice in recent years to use cow or pig heart valves in humans, thus creating a human with animal parts. I think that this is an acceptable practice in order to save human lives. I also don't have anything against animal testing if it is productive and improves human life by discovering new medical treatments.

What I don't agree with is the genetic creations of chimeras -- hybrids of humans and animals -- named for the Greek mythological creature. Read all about it here. It is unethical in my view to so alter stem cells to create creatures that are both and neither human and animal. Pigs with human blood? Mice with human brains? Animals that produce human sperm and egg cells?

Where does it end?

Corrine Young

2 Comments:

  • I am with you on this one. But I am in total opposition to stem cell research and any pre-implantation biological science application. You want to take my ova, mix it up with stranger sperm, create a human blastocyst and make spare parts for another person? I would slap you into the next county. No, I do not lack compassion! I think you are an imbecile for even asking!

    Tammy

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:28 PM  

  • Good grief! Maybe little boys are made of "snips and snails and puppy dog tails."

    It seems to me that the ability to introduce cells from a different species into a human egg or embryo raises the question of when is a human a human.

    My knowledge of anatomy is sketchy at best. Does blood circulate in the actual heart valve? Does it have nerves that trigger muscles? Or is it just a flapper valve that is pushed out of the way when blood comes in, and then settles over the hole when the chamber contracts? If the former, one has to ask what other bits and pieces can be replaced with animal parts. That raises the question, what is so special about human beings?

    Perhaps Mary Shelley will be hearing from the Nobel committee.

    By Blogger Tom in Dallas, at 1:53 PM  

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