Human-animal embryos - What are the implications of this?

Dondi

Well-Known Member
Messages
2,615
Reaction score
10
Points
36
Location
Southern Maryland
British scientists given go-ahead to create human-animal embryos

article said:
British scientists could create the country’s first interspecies embryos by the end of the year, after the Government’s fertility watchdog yesterday approved the work in principle.
Two teams seeking to fuse human DNA with empty cow eggs to study diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s are expected to be granted licences in November, now that the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) has agreed to look favourably on their applications.
The work to make cytoplasmic hybrid or “cybrid” embryos, which are 99.9 per cent human in genetic terms, should then begin immediately at King’s College London and the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, unless it is blocked by a legal challenge.
 
Having worked for a research university for many years, and knowing what I know about how these institutions, at least in the U.S. institute such barrier-breaking programs and manage their ongoing viability, monetarily and ethically; I would say that money and power will always have their way with the extent to which such powerful technologies eventually affect our lives. Technology is always a two-edged sword, good and bad.

Its attributes reflect what the humans really are who create it and utilize it for their purposes. The real problem is that technology carries with it attributes of amplifying the good and bad aspects of human intent and purpose, by its nature, and shortens the time frames within which this all happens.

The toothpaste was out of the tube about twenty years ago and it can't be put back in. Of course I can't speak knowledgeably about what goes on in the UK, but science and technology is truly a global enterprise these days, and was perhaps the first one early in the 20th century.

So I guess I'm saying it really doesn't make any difference what you or I believe at this point. It's all happening right now and shall continue to, no matter what we say or do.

flow....:rolleyes:
 
Over the pond here in the UK we do have a debate on the ethics of such issues but unlike the US it will not be a "pro-life" dominated demonstration of emotion over facts. The purpose of such research is to provide relief or even cure for some of the diseases that stubbornly resist any conventional treatments and if there is hope that they will work they should be tried. Creating Chimera stem cells may well be regarded as playing god but we have the ability to try such things and we should. Pushing the boundaries of the possible is what being human is all about.

Tao
 
Hi Tao...Well said. I didn't mean to come off as a Luddite with regard to technology and its uses. Yes, I am all for utilizing stem cell creation and related technologies for the elimination and curtailment of disease and disability and for open discussions related thereto; but, I am saying that given what the human species is and has always been, such technologies will also eventually be used in potentially destructive ways. History teaches us this truth.

flow....;)
 
There are the pro life rights folks...that will wave that flag. I am not in that camp, I think I can separate some but not all my emotion on this.

Have you ever been where they are cloning? Have you ever seen the hundreds/thousands of animals that don't work out?

Creating a new species, yeah we are only taking it so far, no it will never be viable, no we are only harvesting cells....horseshit. Once it gets started someone, some company will see some reason, some need to go further, slippery slope it is, and eventually we will be creating beasts just to harvest organs and extend lives. No it isn't human after all, yes it has a human heart, lungs, liver, kidneys, but we've cloned these into a pig/monkey so we can harvest without anyone claiming foul. (no pun intended)

Our genetically engineered crops are already depleting existing species. Yes we are playing G!d.

When it comes to stem cell research there exists plenty of studies on both adult and embryonic, but almost all of the significant findings have come from adult stem cells...those after embryonic are truly there just for the argument.
 
Well you 2 guys, I would hope, would never think I put you in the camp of irrational emotionalists. Quite the contrary. I hope you both realise that my recent animosity toward the "American Way" expressed on this forum is not targeted toward people like you two!! My above post was really more directed at Dondi to give him a little grasp of what reaction the story gets over here where it is happening.

But in reaction to a point you both make I would say that I agree that no doubt someone will sooner or later try to use these technologies for ill purposes. All the better that we have many scientists who understand the nitty gritty of it to be able to provide some counter to any future potential threat. As you accurately say Flo, the tube has already been squeezed. What we now need is open and honest dialogue about what is really happening and every safeguard at our disposal to insure ethical standards throughout. And Wil, some of my favourite people have been pigs and cats and dogs. To me thats a whole other debate at the moment I am just too tired to go into. But I share your concerns.

Tao
 
Tao...a goodly rest to you my friend. No..I don't feel bashed at all. I guess that you have more faith in human nature than I do. Besides, as I mentioned, I worked in the technology "business" and open and honest discussions become impossible when really big money and proprietary technologies are involved...and this is all REALLY BIG MONEY STUFF. I can speak from experience since I was involved in negotiating some of the first genetically engineered food crop deals.

Ty...cheers...flow....:rolleyes:
 
Kindest Regards, all!

Good friend Tao:
What we now need is open and honest dialogue about what is really happening and every safeguard at our disposal to insure ethical standards throughout.
"Open and honest dialogue" includes respectful, thoughtful dissent. Particularly considering ethics. ;)
 
What does this say about muddling the "lines" between species? Do we go so far as to create human / ape hybrids in the name of science? Perhaps we could find a cure for AIDS by creating a human-chimp hybrid considering SIDS is so similar that many believe it to be the predecessor to AIDS. Who will be the adoptive parent of this hybrid child, or is this simply another lab rat to be treated as though it has no feelings of pain or emotion or love (and where have we heard this part of the story before, including the warnings?)? Will it be just another pin cushion to be dissected at will, perhaps a see-through plexiglas window stitched across the abdomen so the digestive tract can be observed? If the hybrid is human-animal, do we cater to the human part, or the animal part?

*NOTE: This is only to amplify some of the ETHICAL difficulties surrounding a technology such as this.
 
Well you 2 guys, I would hope, would never think I put you in the camp of irrational emotionalists.
*NOTE: This is only to amplify some of the ETHICAL difficulties surrounding a technology such as this.
Absolutely agreed. And frankly I must admit that I see myself getting quite irrational and emotional about this and not being able to separate my rational "all is good spiritual self", from my "but we are talking about life material" self.

You know a little thing like maize, the native corn species, I'm upset at seeing its demise to Monsanto's infertile RoundUp Ready Corn...once we let this stuff out...we can't bring it back...we've got no way of controlling it.

Its just scary, this brave new world.
 
Hi Snoopy...At the time it was all just a job to me, and I was good at it. Of course one doesn't always realize, that even in middle age, what one is doing is really contributing to a larger problem instead of doing what we're all here for...finding the answers to problems.

Back then the "population bomb" was a very large perceived problem looming in the future and genetically modified food sources were successfully "sold" to us all as an answer. We went for the available answer instead of finding the roots of the "real" problems that humans must face collectively.

When you're staring across the table into the cold eyes of corporate attorneys and you've done a good job at attaining what your employer, a leading university in agricultural research, has stated as it's goals...and then the Dean of the Graduate College nudges you under the table and stares at you...you do the deal.

flow....:eek:
 
A face only a mother could love....

Dikika baby
 

Attachments

  • 12440.jpg
    12440.jpg
    21.5 KB · Views: 395
Hi Juan...lest we scare away any potential new CR members that may reside in Poland, perhaps reading an article which puts your posted image into context might be advisable.

Of course this all fits with my basic theory of Creation. G-d has the most accurate time/space manipulation devices, and is the universally supreme genetic engineer. And G-d cares .

flow....;)

Human evolution child hominin discovery - National Geographic Magazine
 
Kindest Regards, Flow!
Hi Juan...lest we scare away any potential new CR members that may reside in Poland, perhaps reading an article which puts your posted image into context might be advisable.

Of course this all fits with my basic theory of Creation. G-d has the most accurate time/space manipulation devices, and is the universally supreme genetic engineer. And G-d cares .

flow....;)

Human evolution child hominin discovery - National Geographic Magazine
Awww, Flow! You wouldn't be trying to evade the truth by using the facts now, would ya?

I used the photo of the Dikika baby, which is an Australopithicus Afarensis about 500,000 years or so older than Lucy (the type for the species) and by far more complete. My point however, was to visually show something that was not quite human...and yet was "fully" human. That is the paradox we have when we create by tampering.

If your significant other presented a living, breathing, obviously intelligent child that looked like this representation of Dikika to you, are you going to treat it as a living breathing gift worthy of everything that would be bestowed upon a "human" child? Or would you treat this creature as a pet, loving but a bit distant? Or would you treat it as a lab rat, pin cushion, organ donor?

I think these questions asked of anybody would go far to reveal a great deal of how we interact with the natural world, and in turn other humans. But then, what would I know? I only know enough to know I wouldn't proceed to begin with. Not that I cannot, but that I should not. Has Mary Shelley taught us nothing?
 
Last edited:
Back
Top