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Draconis

Science working on creating true-life 'Minotaur' human/cows!

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/6121280.stm

Plan to create human-cow embryos
By Fergus Walsh
BBC News, Medical correspondent

UK scientists have applied for permission to create embryos by fusing human DNA with cow eggs.

Researchers from Newcastle University and Kings College, London, have asked the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority for a three-year licence.

The hybrid human-bovine embryos would be used for stem cell research and would not be allowed to develop for more than a few days.

But critics say it is unethical and potentially dangerous.

Liberal Democrat MP Dr Evan Harris - a member of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee - said: "If human benefit can be derived by perfecting therapeutic cloning techniques or from research into subsequently-derived stem cells, then it would actually be immoral to prevent it just because of a 'yuck' factor."

Stem cell research is one of the most promising areas of medical science.

You may begin to undermine the whole distinction between humans animals and humans
Calum MacKellar
Stem cells are the body's master cells and five-day-old embryos are packed with them - each with the potential to turn into any tissue in the body.

It is this ability which scientists want to harness to treat diseases such as Parkinson's Disease, strokes and Alzheimer's Disease.

To do that, they need to have access to thousands of embryos for research.

Short supply

The problem is that human eggs for research are in short supply and to obtain them women have to undergo surgery.

That is why scientists want to use cows' eggs as a substitute.

They would insert human DNA into a cow's egg which has had its genetic material removed, and then create an embryo by the same technique that produced Dolly the Sheep.

The resulting embryo would be 99.9% human; the only bovine element would be DNA outside the nucleus of the cell.

It would, though, technically be a chimera - part-human, part-animal.

The aim would be to extract stem cells from the embryo when it is six days old, before destroying it.

If human benefit can be derived by perfecting therapeutic cloning techniques or from research into subsequently-derived stem cells, then it would actually be immoral to prevent it just because of a 'yuck' factor
Dr Evan Harris

The quality and the viability of stem cells would then be checked to see if the technique had worked.

The scientists also plan to examine the way the cells are reprogrammed after fusion to see if there are useful processes they could replicate in the laboratory.

Lead researcher Dr Lyle Armstrong said: "If we can learn from the egg cell how to make embryonic stem cells without having to use an animal egg at all then some day we may be able to cure diseases such as Parkinson's disease, or better still some of the age-related diseases which are creating such a burden on society."

Dr Stephen Minger, from King's College London, said: "The current state of the technology is such that literally hundreds of human ooctyes (eggs) from young women will be required to generate a single human embryonic stem cell line.

"Therefore we consider it more appropriate to use non-human oocytes from livestock as a surrogate.

"We feel that the development of disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines from individuals suffering from genetic forms of neurodegenerative disorders will stimulate both basic research and the development of new medicines to treat these horrific brain diseases."

'Undermining humanity'

Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, head of developmental genetics, National Institute for Medical Research, said: "This is a very rational step: to learn what you can using animal eggs, which are readily obtainable, before moving on to valuable human eggs when or if this becomes necessary."


HAVE YOUR SAY
What are diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's if they are not undermining human dignity?
Paul Kemp, Munich

But some will argue the end does not justify the means.

Calum MacKellar, from the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, said the research undermined the distinction between animals and humans.

He said: "In the history of humankind, animals and human species have been separated.

"In this kind of procedure, you are mixing at a very intimate level animal eggs and human chromosomes, and you may begin to undermine the whole distinction between humans and animals.

"If that happens, it might also undermine human dignity and human rights."
Story from BBC NEWS:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/6121280.stm
Anon

I don't know why people are so fearful of chimeras and genetic engineering and things like that. Just because the corn has a couple chemicals in it doesn't automatically mean it's bad for you. In the same token, just because a man might end up being half bovine it's not a bad thing -- just different. I think that kind of stuff is really exciting.

Humans have been the only species with written and spoken language for too long :/
Draconis

Personally, I'm all for genetic engineering. If we could improve the human race physically and mentally, I'm sure it would spill over to the spiritual side of things as well. And I agree with you that it's merely an issue of different. The wonderful thing about humanity is that it is adaptable. Genetic engineering would be ultimate proof of that.
SATIRE-CHAN

I DON'T THINK GIVING HUMANS COW DNA WILL HELP ANYONE, WE'LL JUST SIT AROUND CHEWING ON SHIT REALLY SLOWLY.

if it ain't broke don't fix it, and the human genome is definitely not broke.
Draconis

or maybe it will create the perfect /b/tard.
SATIRE-CHAN

OHOHOHO THAT WAS ALMOST FUNNY but not close enough

the perfect /b/tard will probably need some spitting cobra in him.
Draconis

that's an insult to spitting cobras everywhere.
SATIRE-CHAN

it's an honor moreliek

they don't deserve to be combined with human DNA, they aren't worthy.
Shechaiyah

My God!

Can you just imagine the SUFFERING of such a hybrid?

How would you like to have your human soul inhabit a cow's body?

Cosmic criminal.


:shudder:
Pamelot

I'd be less concerned with the "yuck" factor than with the "God" factor.   It was right around this time that Atlantis sank.  Shocked


Quote:
Lead researcher Dr Lyle Armstrong said: "If we can learn from the egg cell how to make embryonic stem cells without having to use an animal egg at all then some day we may be able to cure diseases such as Parkinson's disease, or better still some of the age-related diseases which are creating such a burden on society."


Really? Rolling Eyes  How about providing people with the information and ability to just improve their diets and vitamin/mineral intake?  The danged researchers are creating a burden on society, coming up with expensive "'round Robin Hood's barn" cures for conditions that people can heal, themselves!
Shechaiyah

Yep, it's time.

Enough is enough.
Draconis

:hi: chai!
Shechaiyah

Hi Sweetie.

Nice place you've got here.  Friendly.
Draconis

For the most part..glad that comes across. Smile
Shechaiyah

Yeah, it does.

No debunking, denials or sweeping generalizations appear to have shown up yet.

But they will.  And we'll handle it when they get here.

: )  Chai

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