Tuesday, October 10, 2006


A rather strange development in man's ability to create life.  This brings up all sorts of theological questions (such as: did  these hybrid creatures have a spirit in the preexistence).
National Geographic Reports Human/Animal Hybrid Creatures being Created in Labs Around the World
Biotech lobbyist says scientists have "gone over the edge into the pathological domain"

January 27, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - The January 25 edition of National Geographic News features a story on new research being done around the world to create hybrids of humans and animals.

In the last few years, legislation has been passed in various countries that pro-life leaders worry will allow experiments to create embryos made from human and animal cells. Such artificial creatures are, revealingly, called by scientists "chimeras," a word, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, which means "a wild, impossible scheme or unreal conception."

That scientists have no name for what they are creating in laboratories does not seem to deter them. National Geographic reports that in 2003, Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University combined human cells with rabbit eggs to create a hybrid embryo. The embryos were destroyed before they reached a certain stage and their stem cells retrieved.

Other experiments are proceeding quietly in research facilities around the world. At the Mayo Clinic, scientists created pigs with human blood. Stanford University in California is considering attempting to create mice with 'human' brains.

No known medical application has yet been developed for fully human embryonic stem cells, despite the massive hype. Cells taken from embryos are difficult to control and produce 'wild' results that scientists cannot predict or turn off. The problem of immune system rejection is also proving all but impossible to overcome. It is therefore even far less likely that there is any positive application for stem cells derived from human/animal hybrids.

National Geographic suggests that scientists hope to create 'spare parts' for transplantation, but the same problems of immune system rejection of foreign tissue applies to whole organs as much as to individual cells. It stands to reason that if a tissue match is difficult to obtain with fully human tissue, that to do so with human/animal hybrid tissue would be next to impossible. It is also questionable how much value such creatures would have for use as medical test subjects, another suggested use for them.

Such research has even given pause to those with no objection to abortion or embryo research per se. National Geographic quotes Jeremy Rifkin, a biotechnology activist prominent at UN meetings. "One doesn't have to be religious or into animal rights to think this doesn't make sense," said Rifkin. "It's the scientists who want to do this. They've now gone over the edge into the pathological domain."

National Geographic News:

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