Human-Animal Hybrid Research

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Human-Animal Hybrid Research The word “chimera” is that usually only related to mythology. However, it can also be used to describe a type of research that combines organisms composed of genetic material (usually cellular) from two distinct species (Eberl & Ballard, 2009). This term can be applied to research using genetic material from humans and animals. With this kind of human-animal hybrid research, scientists are able to perform experiments using things like human embryonic stem cells without injury to people or animals. There is great debate, though, that this kind of research will lead to scientists adding to the development of new species of animals capable of more human characteristics, such as moral thinking, and that these scientists are “playing God.” With careful regulation, scientists should be allowed to continue to perform experiments on human-animal chimeras to be able to advance in knowledge about HIV research, Parkinson’s disease, and other diseases. Background Definitions Chimera. The word originally comes from that of Greek mythology and describes an animal that is a combination of a lion, a serpent, and a goat (Sherringham, 2008). Sherringham (2008) describes the present-day definition of how it relates to science and research as organisms “comprised of at least two genetically distinct populations of cells originating from independent embryos,” but the combined genetics are not a result of sexual reproduction (Sherringham, 2008, p. 767). The word chimera can also be used to refer “to a biological entity composed of genetic material from members of two distinct species” (Eberl & Ballard, 2009, p. 471). Human-animal hybrid embryos. “[…] embryos created using a human egg and the sperm of an animal, or an ani... ... middle of paper ... ...s of free movement and gestation. European Journal of Health Law, 16(1), 69-79. doi:10.1163/157180908X378409 Nakano, K., Watanabe, M., Matsunari, H., Matsuda, T., Honda, K., Maehara, M., & ... Nagashima, H. (2013). Generating porcine chimeras using inner cell mass cells and parthenogenetic preimplantation embryos. Plos ONE, 8(4), 1-10. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0061900 National Academy of Sciences. (2014). Who we are. Retrived from http://www.nas.edu/about/whoweare/index.html Sherringham, T. (2008). Mice, men, and monsters: Opposition to chimera research and the scope of federal regulation. California Law Review, 96(3), 765-800. Streiffer, R. (2010). Chimeras, moral status, and public policy: Implications of the abortion debate for public policy on human/nonhuman chimera research. Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, 38(2), 238-250. doi:10.1111/j.1748-720X.2010.00484.x
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