Animal-Human Embryo Hybrids

The lower house of Parliment(UK) has approved the creation of human animal hybrid embryos for scientific stem cell research. Of course, the usual suspects, religious groups, are in an uproar about it. The process involves injecting human DNA into animal ova. The embryos would not be allowed to develop for more than 14 days.

I think this is a good thing. I am all for scientific progress. This will address the stem cell shortage. What’s next, though? Could this lead to animal human infants, for example?

Would the next American administration consider something like this? Obama has said he would lift the federal funding ban, but would he consider something like this? I hope so.

Vote Cheetarah 2016.

Not for a long time; the techniques are unreliable and primitive. But if it can be done safely, my question would be why not ? Animals have plenty of qualities that would be nice to have.

So what sort of milage would one of these hybrids get?

Only if we can breed a cow that actually wants to be eaten, and is capable of saying so, clearly and distinctly.

Doctor Moreau, please call your office.

Seriously, this is the stuff of ethical nightmares. Why is 14 days the magic number where this stays OK, but 15 days would be bad? Also, once we get past our queasiness about letting them grow, why not stunt the “human consciousness” factor so we can breed humanoid servant-animals, or perhaps humanoid food-animals for those who want to try cannibalism, OR animalistic humans for those who want to try bestiality?

There is a reason the word “abomination” exists. And the UK is opening the gates.

That’s not what my girlfriend C’Mell says.

Og, I just love it when mainstream science catches up with Mad Science. Bring on the manimals!

Not really. A blob of tissue is a blob of tissue. Ethics only come into play if you intend to raise it to viability.

It’s not a magic number, but they had to pick one.

Mentally stunted creatures would make useless servants/slaves. As for the cannibalism part, it wouldn’t be “cannibalism” if they aren’t human; eating your own kind IS the definition of the word. Besides, if you want to make eating people legal, there’s already a huge supply of people who you don’t need fancy scientific experiments to create. And if someone wants to try bestiality, they can just grab an animal right now.

Nonsense. It’s harmless and probably useful scientific experimentation.

Personally, I don’t see any ethical or moral problem if the hybrids don’t develop to the point of developing nervous system tissue (nor do I have any problem with abortion of purely human embryos before that point). But I am a bit skeptical about the scientific value of these experiments… What do they hope to accomplish that they couldn’t do with pure-human or pure-animal work? There’s a part of me that suspects they’re doing this just to be cool, or to see how far they can push the envelope of acceptability, rather than for any scientific purposes.

How about working towards animal-human organ and tissue transplants ? That immediately comes to my mind.

People who know me will recognize that I am the last person to stand in the way of vitally needed progress in manimal science. However, I don’t believe that an “animal-human hybrid embryo” would actually result in a viable animal-human hybrid. The DNA from a human body cell is inserted into the egg cell of an animal which has had its own DNA removed.

So if such an embryo were implanted into a surrogate mother, and somehow managed to successfully develop (which seems kind of unlikely), it would still be human, albeit probably a profoundly messed up human from having their embryonic cells manhandled in such a fashion. Also, family reunions would prove awkward.

Wait, that’ll teach me to read an article before responding. They’re just removing all of the animal DNA, and replacing it completely with human DNA? That’s not a hybrid, that’s just a human embryo, with exactly the same ethical considerations (whatever those are) as any other human embryo.

Not quite; it would have animal mitochodria ( they are in the cytoplasm not the nucleus as I recall ) with their own DNA. Whether that will be a good, bad or indifferent thing is the sort of thing that needs to be tested.

Look, we’re all dancing around the main issue here, which is the profit potential of animal-human hybrid porn.

And embryo porn.

Well, no pig-liver transplants for you.

Excellent. If they perfect this in the next twenty years, then my harem of second generation sexy cat-boys will be reaching adulthood just in time to care for me throughout my retirement. Ahh, a whole new world for the crazy old cat lady to explore. Of course, it won’t be as fun as it could be, since I’ll have to neuter them to prevent them from ruining my furniture.

Anyway. As no animal DNA is actually intermingling with human DNA, it doesn’t really count as a hybrid in the way anyone would normally think of it. Human DNA, plus animal mitochondria isn’t going to produce manimals even if they did allow the embryos to develop. Having no qualms about stem cell research anyway, I think this is a fascinating and potentially highly useful avenue of exploration.

I’m still not over the fact that there are so many kids today who don’t know who their biological father is because there mother picked out a face on a catalogue that she couldn’t take home.

Just curious: what would be the implications of animal mitochondria mixing with human DNA? It’s been a long while since eighth-grade biology, so I’m working off of Wikipedia and hasty Google research, but mitochondria supply the cell with energy, correct? Would that have any affect on the human DNA development process?

This reminds me of something my anthropology prof said a week or two ago. Apparently, nobody knows whether humans and chimpanzees can interbreed. We’re much closer genetically than tigers and lions, and they can interbreed (though only the female offspring are fertile). It’s just that nobody has ever tried it because… well because. If anyone has tried human-chimp in vitro fertilization, they haven’t told anyone. We can’t know for sure unless someone tries, and nobody wants to (or has a reason to).