Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy
National Geographic News
(MST3K-esque Commentary Courtesy J.D. Salyer of INN)
Scientists have begun blurring the line between human and animal by producing chimerasâ€”a hybrid creature that’s part human, part animal. (OF COURSE FROM A CERTAIN POINT OF VIEW THAT LINE HAS ALREADY BEEN BLURRED VIA THE DONALD TRUMP TELEVISION SHOW, “APPRENTICE”.)
Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University in 2003 successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. (SO IT IS CRITICAL THAT AMERICA LAUNCH A CRASH-PROGRAM TO CATCH UP WITH THEM — DEMOCRACY MUST TRIUMPH OVER COMMUNISM… WE MUST BRIDGE THE “WASCALLY WABBIT” GAP.)
The embryos were reportedly the first human-animal chimeras successfully created. They were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory dish before the scientists destroyed the embryos to harvest their stem cells. (ANIMAL-RIGHTS ACTIVISTS AND PRO-CHOICE ADVOCATES HAVE THUS FOUND COMMON CAUSE BY STAGING PROTESTS ON BEHALF OF THE CHIMERICAL EMBRYOS’ RABBIT-HALF — ARGUING THAT THERE MUST BE A WAY TO PEEL AWAY THE ICKY-GROSS AND WOMAN-OPPRESSING HUMAN BITS WHILE STILL KEEPING THE CUTE BUNNY-ELEMENT INTACT AND VIABLE. )
In Minnesota last year researchers at the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies. (A BREAKTHROUGH WHICH WAS ENTHUSIASTICALLY APPLAUDED BY MINNESOTA’S SMALL BUT VOCAL VAMPIRE POPULATION.)
And at Stanford University in California an experiment might be done later this year to create mice with human brains. (“WELL, ACTUALLY, WITH THE BRAINS OF EVENING NEWS ANCHORS– WHICH IS NOT PRECISELY THE SAME THING,” CONCEDED A SPOKESMAN FOR STANFORD’S BIOLOGY DEPARTMENT.)
Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing “spare parts,” such as livers, to transplant into humans. (“AND THE GODLIKE FEELING OF POWER THAT TINGLES THROUGH ME FROM HEAD TO TOE WHENEVER I TAMPER WITH HUMAN BEINGS IS KIND OF A NICE PLUS, AS WELL,” ADDED ONE SCIENTIST.)
But creating human-animal chimerasâ€” named after a monster in Greek mythology that had a lion’s head, goat’s body, and serpent’s tailâ€” has raised troubling questions: What new subhuman combination should be produced and for what purpose? (THIS REPORTER,Â FOR ONE, VOTES FOR BREEDING A HUMAN-OCTOPUS HYBRID, SO THE U.S. CAN TAKE THE LEAD IN WORLD TENNIS.)
At what point would it be considered human? And what rights, if any, should it have? (MORE IMPORTANTLY, WHICH POLITICAL PARTY WILL ITS LOBBY ATTACH TO?
WILL IT PREFER COUNTRY, CLASSICAL, OR ALTERNATIVE ROCK?
WILL IT LIKE LONG WALKS ON THE BEACH AND OSMOTIC-CUDDLING BY THE FIRE?
WILL IT SOMEDAY RISE AGAINST US TO FEED OFF OF OUR WARM, JUICY, DELICIOUS INNARDS?
ETC, ETC, YADDA YADDA YADDA….)
There are currently no U.S. federal laws that address these issues. (AHHH, THAT’S IT. WHAT WE NEED IS FOR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT– PREFERABLY A GOOD, “FAMILY-VALUES” POLITICIAN– TO GET INVOLVED AND START PASSING LAWS.
Y’KNOW, THOSE *LAWS* THAT SAFEGUARD YOUR HUMAN DIGNITY.
LIKE THOSE LAWS THAT PROVIDE FOR MEDICAL SPECIALISTS TO GET PAID BEAUCOUP BUCKS TO STARE AT YOUR WINKY, WHILE YOU WHIZ INTO A GLASS VIAL IN ORDER TO KEEP YOUR JOB.)
The National Academy of Sciences, which advises the U.S. government, has been studying the issue. In March it plans to present voluntary ethical guidelines for researchers.
(HMM. LET’S SEE. THE LAST TIME “SCIENCE”– I.E., CORPORATE BUSINESS– DECIDED TO REFRAIN FROM DOING SOMETHING OUT OF ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS WAS… WAS… WAS…. AH.
A chimera is a mixture of two or more species in one body. Not all are considered troubling, though. (“SO WE MUST PICK AND CHOOSE WISELY.Â NATURALLY CENTAURS, SPHINXES, AND CREATURES FROM THE BLACK LAGOONÂ ARE RULED OUT FROM THE OUTSET,” SAID ONE BIOENGINEER.Â
“AND IX-NAY ON THE INOTAUR-MAY, OF COURSE.”)
For example, faulty human heart valves are routinely replaced with ones taken from cows and pigs. The surgeryâ€”which makes the recipient a human-animal chimeraâ€”is widely accepted.Â (ALTHOUGH PSYCHIATRISTS ARE CONCERNED ABOUT THE RISING EPIDEMIC OF ACORN-ADDICTION AMONG RECOVERING OPEN-HEART SURGERY PATIENTS.)
And for years scientists have added human genes to bacteria and farm animals.
(“WE HAVE TO KEEP CREATING MORE HUMAN/BACTERIAL HYBRIDS,” EXPLAINED PRESIDENT BUSH, “BECAUSE THEY DO THE JOBS HOMO SAPIENS WON’T.”)
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