Scientists are constantly demonstrating that they must never watch horror movies. Just this past month the government approved a biotech company’s plan to re-animate the brain dead. Now another group of so-called “scientists” are performing experiments in which they are using half animal, half human chimera hybrids to grow human organs for transplant recipients. What could go wrong?
There has to be an easier way to get a decent ham around here.
In the past year alone, three groups of researchers have created 20 pregnancies of pig-human or sheep-human chimeras. While the National Institute Of Health has banned public funding for these experiments due to ethical concerns, biologists including those at the University of California are pushing forward. These affronts to God are sure to create something like that girl from the film Splice that 60 percent of over 2,000 participants surveyed said they would have sex with.
Show a scientist Splice and stop this from happening for reals.
Basically when a scientist wants to create a soulless abomination – er, I mean grow a healthy human organ for a transplant patient in need, they take a pig embryo and pop out the gene that would grow, say a pancreas. Then the scientists inject human stem cells into the spot in the embryo where the pancreas gene was. This should allow the stem cell to start growing a human pancreas, and not a terrifying pig boy.
Making embryos great again.
However for the human organ to fully grow, scientists must put the hybrid embryo into the womb of an adult pig. This is where things could really turn into The Island Of Dr Moreau. In theory scientists hope that those stem cells start growing a human organ. However the stem cells could start developing into other organs including brain tissue. When banning funding the health agency even said they were concerned about animals’ cognitive state being altered by human brain cells. Samuel L. Jackson in Deep Blue Sea is not going to be happy about this.
Things could potentially get even crazier. Stuart Newman, biology professor from the New York Medical College told NPR that there is a real possibility of a part-human, part pig creature developing if researchers aren’t careful. He says:
“If a male chimeric pig mated with a female chimeric pig, the result could be a human fetus developing in the uterus of that female chimera.”
Hopefully before things get that far the scientists will employ a backup safety measure in the medical community known as K.I.W.F. or “Kill It With Fire.”
Wake up, people!
Another scientist, Jason Robert bioethicist at Arizona State University warns;
“One of the concerns that a lot of people have is that there’s something sacrosanct about what it means to be human expressed in our DNA,” “And that by inserting that into other animals and giving those other animals potentially some of the capacities of humans that this could be a kind of violation — a kind of, maybe, even a playing God.”
What do you think? Should scientists pursue this method of growing organs for patients who might otherwise be on a long donor waitlist? Or is the possibility of creating a human that smells a little too much like bacon a bad idea?
Follow Phil Haney on Twitter @PhilHaney