Breaking News: Labs Mixing Human DNA and Animal DNA
Scientists have done extensive research into the mixing of genes or cells from different species, e.g. adding human (and other animal) genes to bacteria and farm animals to mass-produce insulin and spider silk proteins, and introducing human cells into mouse embryos.
Para humans have been referred to as “human-animal hybrids” in a vernacular sense that also encompasses human-animal chimeras. The term parahuman is not used in scientific publications. The term is sometimes used to sensationalize research that involves mixing biological materials from humans and other species. It was used in a National Geographic article to describe an experiment in 2003, during which Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human-an….
According to Daily Mail, as of 2011, more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos were created in British laboratories since the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.
With respect to animal-human mixing, no evidence of any entities being born has ever been recorded but new developments in crossing the species barrier may no longer limit animal-human mixtures to the domain of mythology. Indeed, procedures have recently been developed by scientists which mix human and animal biological elements to such an extent that it questions the very concept of being entirely human.
For example, concern for animal-human mixtures was raised in 2001 by the UK Animal Procedures Committee which indicated in its Report on Biotechnology that though questions may exist as to the likely fate of such animal-human mixtures, there may be a deeper repugnance at the thought of their very existence. Indeed, The Regulation of New Biotechnologies and published in 2004, that the crossing of the animal-human boundary was, in some respects, quite complex and subtle but that the mixing of human and animal tissues and materials was not by itself objectionable.
In other words, in the context of therapy and preventive medicine, the President’s Council accepted that the transplantation of animal parts to replace defective human ones could be considered as ethical. Moreover, the Council had no overriding objection to the insertion of animal-derived genes or cells into a human body – or even into human foetuses – where the aim would be to address a serious disease in the patient or the developing child. 18/10/2010 Ethics of animal-human mixtures http://schb.org.uk
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