Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Animal-Human Research? Where's Dr. Moreau?

Now, I don't like this one bit. Where's Dr. Moreau (or Dr. Hibbert if you're a Simpsons fan)?

Experiments to create Britain’s first embryos that combine human and animal material will begin within months after a government watchdog gave its approval yesterday to two research teams to carry out the controversial work.

Scientists at King’s College London, and the University of Newcastle will inject human DNA into empty eggs from cows to create embryos known as cytoplasmic hybrids, which are 99.9 per cent human in genetic terms....

The experiments are intended to provide insights into diseases such as Parkinson’s and spinal muscular atrophy by producing stem cells containing genetic defects that contribute to these conditions.

While the HFEA was deliberating, the Government proposed a ban on the creation of human-animal embryos, also known as “cybrids”, but retreated after a revolt by scientists...

I am all for any kind of scientific advancement that will lessen the occurrence of live animal experimentation. But, again, the pace of technology is outstripping the development of ethics.

I look forward to the reaction from the "animals are inferior" crowd. Are they okay with mixing the animal and human cells together? Isn't there something sacrilegious going on?

Photo by SuperlativeQuip.


Anonymous said...

I have a son with SMA, one of the genetic conditions that this type of work will find a treatment or cure for. Perhaps if you, or those who share your views, were in my position, you might have a different opinion. Unless you are directly affected by someone who has one of these conditions then please don't try and tell me what's right and what's wrong.

mrbarky said...

Who said anything about being against it? There are certainly ethical issues involved in this kind of thing. I think that's a legitimate point (and we do need to look at that on a case by case basis).

And, you have to admit it sounds a little strange on it's face.

Having said that, I hope your son gets the help he needs. Thanks for taking the time to post!

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