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Biotech Science

The Chimera Dilemma Manifested in Sheep 433

Posted by timothy
from the it-couldn't-quite-manifest-in-person dept.
Rollie Hawk writes "While many limits on stem cell research exist in the United States, scientist are finding wants to straddle or at least blur the line between man and animal. It's not quite The Island of Doctor Moreau, but it's bringing a pantheon of ethical dilemmas, nonetheless. The creation of chimeras, named for the mythical beast composed of parts from several different animals, has been in the news off and on for the last few months. The latest case involves around 50 sheep said to possess at least partially human organs. These heavily modded sheep are growning human-like organs such as livers, hearts, and blood. All of these could eventually be close enough to the real thing to be harvested as replacements parts. If that doesn't shock you, consider one other human organ that is being grown in some of these sheep: human brains. While it is doubtful that anyone would want a brain transplant from a human-sheep chimera, it does hold the possibility for doing brain research that would never be allowed on human beings. That is, unless, the brains end up being too human. Just the possibility of a human mind bouncing around inside a sheep's head is a scary proposition."
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The Chimera Dilemma Manifested in Sheep

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  • A problem? (Score:5, Funny)

    by gatorflux (759239) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:09PM (#12400285)
    Well, the wife never complained when she found I was part horse.
  • by Elius I (773858) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:09PM (#12400294)
    What has the world came to?
    • by suitepotato (863945) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:26PM (#12400442)
      "Man, like I had that baby just flyin' along doing all sorts of algorithms, and doing Quake, and man... You would not believe the kind of stuff you can do with a modded sheep."

      "Yeah, I was like, takin' mine down Central Ave. and this cop, he just came outta nowhere, man. He could not even keep up, and its a real good thing I put the air dam on the rear end, cause the tail kept flyin' up and I hit the hill at Brisco, and nearly lost it totally."

      "Modded" was a bad choice of words. Now I have images of blue neon trim and all sorts of flashy bling bling on the farm...
      • Now I have images of blue neon trim and all sorts of flashy bling bling on the farm...


        And on this week's "Pimp My Ride", the team update run down farm bulldozer with chrome treads, an air conditioned cabin with built in jacuzzi, satellite/Internet/DVD player, 20" plasma display, surround sound and a custom paint job with flames on the bucket and speed stripes on the cabin.
    • I know! (Score:3, Funny)

      by ggvaidya (747058)
      Why isn't this in the hardware section?

      Stupid editors ...
      • Re:I know! (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ZephyrXero (750822)
        Could possibly go in the "Your Rights" section too. All those people who were afraid of genetic stuff aren't sounding quite as crazy now...
    • by Rei (128717) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:41PM (#12400572) Homepage
      What the article *doesn't* mention is that if you poke the sheep enough, they'll explode on you.

      On a more serious note, was anyone else distrubed by the fact that it was recommended, concerning human-brained mice, that they monitor for signs of humanlike behavior in human-brained mice, and if they find such behavior, they were to... immediately kill the mice? Excuse me? If a mouse is starting to think like a person, shouldn't the appropriate response be to cease testing, ensure a good life for it, and only euthanize it if there are signs that it is suffering?
      • You're right. In a humane world, if people discovered a sheep with a human mind, they'd treat it well... as if it were a person. Unfortunately, we live in THIS world... where even actual humans have a hard time getting treated as if they were people. *sigh*
    • Universities have been case-modding cows [vpscenter.com] for ages. This has the benefit of producing some truly odd pictures. Plus, cows are dumb.

      But sheep with human brains? How long until we have to tell farm animals to quit their jibber-jabberin'?*

      *If you didn't get that, be thankful.
    • What has the world came to?

      There's no need to worry unless, say, the sheep start chanting "Four legs good, two legs better!" over and over for five minutes, or start a Whiter Wool movement.

      So, after they dissect the sheep, will they posthumously declare it "Animal Hero, Second Class"?
    • OK. have the sheep been modded +5 Insightful or -1 Troll??
    • Obviously, they are working on a better breed of "sheeple"
  • by ericdano (113424) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:10PM (#12400300) Homepage
    Haven't we done that? Timothy is a living example of a Sheep grown brain transplanted into a human ;-)
  • Cannibalism (Score:3, Funny)

    by NoseBag (243097) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:11PM (#12400323)
    I've seen several versions of this article recently, and have been resisting (until..uh..now) asking a question:

    If I slaughter and eat one of the sheep am I guilty of cannibalism?
  • by Andrewkov (140579) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:12PM (#12400330)
    I thougt I got picked on at school .. At least I didn't have a sheep's body! Joking aside, can you imagine a sheep with almost human intelligance? Man, that is freaky. Perfect fodder for horror movies, though.
    • They still wouldn't have opposable thumbs, so they couldn't use firearms. And their native attacks like kicking and biting are pretty pathetic. They'd be no threat at all.
    • Check what happens if you give sapience to an elephant [schlockmercenary.com] (second example [schlockmercenary.com]) or monkey [schlockmercenary.com].
    • by TopShelf (92521)
      Just imagine the commercial possibilites, should they succeed...
    • Re:Human brain? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by I_Human (781026)
      Sure the sheep has a "human" brain, but that wont necessarily make it human-like. Classic nature vs nurture, and I think for it to be more human-like we have to look at the sheeps nurturing. I suppose the human-brained sheep would be akin to feral children and not show much more than just the animal that they are. Interesting to think about anyway.
    • Re:Human brain? (Score:2, Insightful)

      by gnuman99 (746007)
      Many animals have much higher functional intelligence than many mentally handicaped humans. A sheep with human intelligence would still be viewed and treated like a sheep.

      Maybe this is the time we start to re-examine how we treat other animals. Sadly, this will probably not happen in my lifetime (ie. next 50+ years)...

      • by Anonymous Coward
        Maybe this is the time we start to re-examine how we treat other animals.

        Absolutely. For example, there must be new sauces that can be developed.
  • by Herkum01 (592704) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:12PM (#12400332)
    That Skittles got to this story first. FYI: Skittles has been playing a commercial with two sheep with human heads are eating Skittles. They comment on how they could manage to cross two completely different flavors into one candy.
  • "Are we sheep or are we men? Oh, wait, we *are* sheep, but we have human brains. Hey, look a farmer! Let's get him!"
  • Why is this scary? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by pyth (87680) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:16PM (#12400370)
    Because it's new? Are you a luddite?
    • Its been said that the only constant is change, but weighed against that, not all change is for the better. On the whole, I have to say that if you were to view these advances from a purely scientific perspective, obviously what has been achieved is remarkable and laudable.

      On the other hand, you have to ask yourself just how far we can and will go, and what effect this will have on various societies. What repercussions will this have on cross-species diseases? What purpose will these chimeras serve?

      O

    • by Erris (531066)
      It's scary because the law does not provide protection for the possible creation. Imagine yourself trapped in a sheep's body. You were litterally raised in a barn, never clothed and left to sleep in your own shit. While you can never articulate your feelings, you might be very upset. You would certainly be upset to know that your owner could kill and eat you.

      It's one thing to grow human bones, muscles and organs. That can get creepy enough if done by harvesting and supressing what would have otherwise

      • What we need is a lot more understanding of the developmental process (i.e., the "nature/nurture" problem). Would a human-brained sheep feel like a "human trapped in a sheep's body," or feel like a sheep? If it didn't feel like a human, would it realize it was different from other sheep? A lot of what separates us from the rest of the animals is language; if it never had the opportunity to learn a language (assuming sheep don't have one) would it realize the possibility existed?

        Speaking of language and
  • Bioethics (Score:5, Interesting)

    by geomon (78680) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:17PM (#12400382) Homepage Journal
    Two researchers were discussing this topic on Science Friday [sciencefriday.com] last week.

    The thing that kept running through my mind as I listened to the discussion was how someone with enough money could run circles around these ethics panels and produce chimeras off-shore.

    Now that Bush has made the political (rather than scientific) decision to limit stem cell lines, this activity will most certainly occur outside of the US and beyond any jurisdiction of American ethics organizations.
    • Now that Bush has made the political (rather than scientific) decision to limit stem cell lines

      Isn't it possible that there are more than two sets of criteria upon which to base a decision such as this? Ethical, perhaps?
      • Re:Bioethics (Score:5, Insightful)

        by FidelCatsro (861135) <fidelcatsro.gmail@com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:43PM (#12400591) Journal
        For a politican there is normaly two criteras ,
        #1: Fiscal(who bribed/lobied(same word really) me the most)
        #2: Ethical(If I do this , will i get voted out next term and be unable to recive #1)

        politicans generaly have all the ethics of 51% of the votes and the largest cash pay off.
      • Isn't it possible that there are more than two sets of criteria upon which to base a decision such as this? Ethical, perhaps?

        Sure. There are probably financial reasons as well.

        But Bush didn't make the decision for purely ethical reasons. He made his decision as a nod to the conservative wing of his party.

        What ethical reason would there be for denying individuals the medical advances that come from stem cell research?
        • Re:Bioethics (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Rich0 (548339) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:47PM (#12401161) Homepage
          He made his decision as a nod to the conservative wing of his party.

          What ethical reason would there be for denying individuals the medical advances that come from stem cell research?

          Uh, why exactly do you think that the conservative wing of his party opposes stem cell research? For ethical reasons!

          Sure, many people may disagree with the ethical judgement being made, but the decision is purely ethical. What other motivation would they have? Do you think that they're doing it just so that they can watch people with various diseases die?

          In this case the ethical dilema is whether it is OK to destroy embryos to harvest their stem cells. What makes it a dilema is that it is strongly debated whether embryos are fully entitled to human rights. In fact, that is not all that different from the debate about putting human brains in sheep - is that enough to make a being with human rights? (Whoa, and suddenly we're back on-topic...)

          Just because you don't happen to agree with the ethics of the situation doesn't mean that it isn't an ethical decision.

          A decision to ban all animal research would also be an ethical decision, and one that many people would disagree with, but which many would also agree with.

          Unfortunately, ethical problems will only be straightfoward when everybody else gets with it and just agrees that I'm the only one who really knows what is right and wrong... :)
          • Unfortunately, ethical problems will only be straightfoward when everybody else gets with it and just agrees that I'm the only one who really knows what is right and wrong... :)

            I can see we agree on this one. ;)
        • I think this was done for religious reasons, not ethical ones. They are, unfortunately, not the same thing.
    • Did you RTFA? This work is being done with adult stem cells, just like all the other useful stem cell research that has been done.
      • Did you RTFA?

        Yep.

        This work is being done with adult stem cells, just like all the other useful stem cell research that has been done.

        And there are limits to what can be done with the existing stem cell lines.

        That is why private foundations and the State of California have started funding their own stem cell research.
    • Now that Bush has made the political (rather than scientific) decision to limit stem cell lines, this activity will most certainly occur outside of the US and beyond any jurisdiction of American ethics organizations.

      Of course it's political. Science only answers "what can be done?", not "what should be done?" I don't have any problem with the idea there should be limits on what my tax dollars pay for. In any event, Bush doesn't have the power to unilaterally make stem cell research illegal, he just cha

      • Bush doesn't have the power to unilaterally make stem cell research illegal, he just changed the rules under which scientists get money for the research. And no, that's a long way from a prohibition.

        (checking back to my original post) Nope, I never said it was a prohibition.

        Furthermore, the argument that we should allow something unethical to happen in the US so it doesn't happen somewhere else is specious.

        Who made that argument? I just said that it is pointless to make rules to govern stem cell resea
        • (checking back to my original post) Nope, I never said it was a prohibition.

          Sorry. I was so used to people coming back with something like "It really is prohibition if there's no money..." I jumped the gun trying to forestall it.

          Wouldn't it be better, if you prefer to have the research conducted in an ethical or responsible manner, to have it advanced in a nation where you have a legal and fiscal framework to control it?

          If we put any limits on research at all the temptation will be to move to Chin

          • If we put any limits on research at all the temptation will be to move to China. I don't understand how we can have a "legal and fiscal framework to control it" without having restrictions on what can be done. The stem cell stuff is childs play compared to what's being contemplated - if that's enough to send it offshore we can give up on having any control at all.

            Then we agree more than we disagree. By limiting the number of cell lines, Bush has said that the only lines that will be funded with federal fu
  • by Weaselmancer (533834) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:19PM (#12400393)

    While it is doubtful that anyone would want a brain transplant from a human-sheep chimera

    It would explain how the Patriot Act and the DCMA got passed.

    Ba dump bump! Thanks, I'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waitresses.

  • That's *COOL* (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fazil (62946) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:19PM (#12400394) Homepage

    Human brains in sheep? Now that's just plain *COOL* Hacking the genes.. loads of fun!

    I don't know why so many people get upset about this kind of thing.. I mean, if my mom had something like CJD from eating euro-beef 10 years ago, and you could sacrifice a legion of humo-sheep hybrid brains to save her.. Sacrifice away! Myself, I have a damaged heart.. if I could have a new one, I'd kill any number of chimera sheep to get it. I want to watch my boy grow up, not die at 35. Oh, and you go tell that hypotetical burn victim why he'll be deformed for the rest of his life, because he can't have the artificial skin developed from chimera sheep in Qwai Pong Province china, because his narrow minded government doesn't think it's ethical.

    In the balance of life, they're sheep. Who cares? Grow them in vats for all I care. As long as this is all done in a clean room environment, so we can minimize the risk of having superbug's crossing the sheep human barrier...

    • Re:That's *COOL* (Score:5, Insightful)

      by dj_segfault (598426) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:30PM (#12400475) Homepage
      I think cuz brains is different.

      If an animal had a human brain, with something approaching human intellect (could you have usefil human-like brains without human-like intellect>), the the list of what is cruel to do to them and what is not has to move more towards the human end of the spectrum.

      In fact, it might be cruel simply to have a creature with our level of intelligence but without the ability to do anything with it. It would be like shoving a kid in solitary for their whole life. Clearly they would go crazy in short order. That's what really bored humans with too little stimulation do.

      ----
      Abbey.... normal?
      • Re:That's *COOL* (Score:3, Informative)

        by mikael (484)
        In fact, it might be cruel simply to have a creature with our level of intelligence but without the ability to do anything with it. It would be like shoving a kid in solitary for their whole life. Clearly they would go crazy in short order. That's what really bored humans with too little stimulation do.


        Actually, when wild animals used to large territories are placed in caged captivity (polar bears, lions, tigers etc...) they usually do [bornfree.org.uk] go mad [gobartimes.org].


        Have you seen animals pacing up and down endlessly in thei
    • I agree completely (Score:5, Insightful)

      by mcc (14761) <amcclure@purdue.edu> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:42PM (#12401104) Homepage
      For fuck's sake. It's pretty much just agreed the world over that science will be constantly used to create new and horrible weapons that could kill increasingly large numbers of people in increasingly horrible ways, but that strangely enough it's expected will never be used. You tell someone about Russia restarting its nuclear weapons research program and people just shrug and go, meh, they do that.

      But if it turns out science might be at some point to do something that, rather than being horrific and violent, is merely strange, people freak the fuck out. A bomb that can kill billions in a single moment is shrugged off as normal. But tell someone that someone might be growing sheep with human livers, and what's the response? Oh no! What a horrible perversion of nature! Why do we continue to let such horrible things happen! Never mind that this, you know, has the capacity to save lives or create useful technology on a huge scale. It's "unnatural!" Of course, so is fire and clothing and the internet. But for some reason those are okay and genetic engineering is not.

      Mankind has the capacity to do strange and wonderful things, and instead of trying to find exactly where our capacities lie we're holding back everywhere just based on pure grossout factor.

      If the reason we're holding back scientific progress is actually "ethics"-- people complaining about genetics and such keep using that word, I am not sure they know what it means-- I want to know why they're worrying so much about sheep in laboratory conditions with some slightly strange DNA in their brains and totally ignoring the relatively horrible conditions that totally normal sheep, chickens, etc are being bred and harvested in on a worldwide scale. The worldwide march of technology and progress has brought a lot of horrible things, but we shrug, decide we don't care, and eat our chicken mcnuggets anyway. So why freak out so much over these sheep? If the rediculously unlikely situation we turn out to have created sheep with thinking, feeling human brains, okay, give them legal rights and a social security card and move on with your lives. I assure you, this isn't worse than what happened to the contents of those chicken mcnuggets, just a little bit wierder.
      • by Fwonkas (11539) <joe@noSPam.flappingcrane.com> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @09:30PM (#12403103) Homepage

        Ok, maybe I'm in the minority here, but I don't eat chicken mcnuggets. ;)

        That aside, while I see the validity and importance of most of your points, I think you're setting up a bit of a strawman argument here. Nuclear weapons programs are often implemented to ensure that other nations can't intimidate them with their nuclear arsenals. It's unpleasant, but at this time there are not many other options. I believe that's part of the reason for the so-called "Star Wars" program(s), as much as I question their usefulness.

        More importantly, you question the ethics of the opposition to this research. You're brushing off their concerns by saying, "give them legal rights and a social security card". The concern is that when you start to muddy up the distinctions between human and animal, it's less clear what sort of things are ethical. One wouldn't remove a healthy human's heart without their consent. If a sheep is part or mostly human, is it ok to remove their heart for transplant? That is an ethical question. Once it becomes ok to remove a quasi-human sheep's heart, how far a leap is it to remove a human's heart?

        That's totally disregarding the question of whether we're justified in doing these sorts of things to non-human animals capable of suffering anyway.

        I agree with some of your sentiment overall, and I think this sort of research can benefit humanity tremendously, but I just wanted to point these things out. I think it's unfair to characterize objections as being due to just "grossout factor(s)".

    • Re:That's *COOL* (Score:3, Insightful)

      by johnnyb (4816)
      "In the balance of life, they're sheep."

      Based on what exactly?

      Why is it ethical to do this with sheep/humans, but not ethical to do this with humans (and if you don't think this is coming, people have proposed created brainless humans for the purpose of harvesting organs).

      At what point is a chimera no longer human?

      I find it really amusing that people on this board are so willing to go for it. I'm cynically guessing this is the same crowd that is morally outraged because people send unwanted email witho
  • by logicnazi (169418) <[logicnazi] [at] [gmail.com]> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:24PM (#12400431) Homepage
    Just injecting some human brain cells into a sheep or even transplanting an early human brain from a fetus is unlikely to produce any kind of human sheep. The human brain doesn't just develop from a genetic blueprint but also requires a huge amount of deveelopmental cues and responds to hormones and signaling molecules (like sonic the hedgehog) to develop properly. Not to mention a host of enviornmental stimuli needed to encourage the brain to wire itself correctly.

    In short it isn't just human neurons which make us human but the whole brain development system at work in babies. This isn't the sort of thing which could be duplicated in a sheep without extensive genetic modification or hand controlling all the developmental signals. If this is possible at all it is far beyond our current level of technology.

    So don't get freaked out yet people. They are just growing human neurons in sheep at the moment there is no chance we will make a person trapped in a sheep body.

    God damn these popular stories can be misleading.
  • 1: If you eat any of these chimera animals, does that technically make you a cannibal?

    2: In the event that chimera hybrids accidentally make it into the food chain, does that mean that humans have a higher risk of contracting spongiform encephalopathy (if, for example, the nervous system/brains of said critters are even a small percentile human)?
  • by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:25PM (#12400438)
    "Liiisssaaaa, don't eeeaaatttt meeeeee."

    If you kill it, it'll stop creeping you out by talking. :)

    Anyone remember the song, "Cows With Guns"?
  • Uhhh (Score:5, Interesting)

    by quantaman (517394) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:26PM (#12400446)
    the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice's behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior.

    You know when considering a solution to that particular ethical dilemma that wasn't the first idea that came to mind...
  • by jpatters (883) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:27PM (#12400455)
    "Stanford law professor Hank Greely, who chaired the ethics committee, said the board was satisfied that the size and shape of the mouse brain would prevent the human cells from creating any traits of humanity. Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice's behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior."

    OK, I can just see it now:

    "Same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the" [splat!]
  • It's always fun to see how the reporters particular bias will come accross.

    He can't wait to examine the effects of the human cells he had injected into the fetus' brain about two months ago. "It's mice on a large scale," Chamberlain says with a shrug. As strange as his work may sound, it falls firmly within the new ethics guidelines

    They've allready painted him as a mad scientist, eagerly rubbing his hands together in glee over having fought Gods plan. All the while shrugging his shoulders at the coce
  • ...live action Disney movies? ...Animal Farm???
  • by wfberg (24378) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:35PM (#12400511)
    Injecting human DNA into sheep is nothing new to lonely shepherds..
  • My website says it all.

    GotSheep?

    (The NYS DMV cancelled my plates on my car- GOTSH33P - and the reason given was "They are illegal, immoral, and sexually perverse".
  • In Soviet Russia, the sheep count you!
  • Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice's behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior. If they DO start behaving like humans and have vastly increased intellect, wouldn't this be considered murder? Wait.. I forgot.. Mice ARE more intelligent than men. So are dolphins. Nevermind. It would be a priviledge to the mice to be put out of their misery. All jokes aside, seriously, if they are "human" in consciousness and intelligence, killing th
  • You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means. [wikipedia.org]
  • by Vengeance (46019) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:48PM (#12400631)
    and sheep have many uses
  • The scientist is my shepherd
    He makes me lie down on the examining table...
  • Conflicted (Score:4, Insightful)

    by donnyfire (679042) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:56PM (#12400706)
    I have to say, as a medical student, that I am quite excited about the possibilities presented by this type of research. To be able to conduct research on tissue systems that are more human will provide better models for treatment of disease in humans. Thus making medicine more effective and safer. That being said, I am appalled at the prospect of ANY form of human hervous system running around in ANY other type of creature. True, it could provide tremendous insight into how the human brain works. However, it is my belief that the brian is the center of our humanity. It is the seat of who we are as a species, and is unique in the world. To artificially develop this type of tissue in an animal mode really seems to be an ethical misjudgement. A public backlash to this type of research could jeopardize research in general, which would be a disservice to the scientific community.
  • by John Newman (444192) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @04:58PM (#12400728)
    Every once in a while you read a story that seems to have been written by a science writer with at least a quarter of a clue, and then you find that one fateful line that reaffirms the proper order of things: that science writers are complete idiots who have no business writing about science:
    First, human stem cells were injected into bacteria, then mice and now sheep.
    We inject human stem cells into single-celled prokaryotes that are probably less than one-thousandth the volume of a stem cell? I'd like to see that trick. The writer presumably confused human stem cells with human DNA, and probably wouldn't know the difference if it were pointed out to him/her, anyway.

    I despair of scientific literacy in this country.
  • The real threat isn't sheep with human brains, it's cows with guns [theflasharchive.com]
  • I'm sorry, but I have difficulty comprehending complex issues about what it is to be human unless they're presented to me in anime form.

    So we're going to need an anime on this issue, preferably with intensely slow pacing and occasionally boring monologues in between brief, action-filled flashes of the crack commando team "Sheep Force 2014."

    Sheep Force 2014: They've been engineered to be the perfect killing machines, but they're also still in high school!
  • Blur the lines between man and animal?

    Are you insinuating that humans are not animals? Or that animals are sub-human? Does that infer that humans are not mammals? Or that not all mammals are animals?

    Such statements make me believe that some humans are perhaps better classified as a plant or mineral.
  • You should be more concerned about the minds that are bouncing around inside the brains of other primates, primates humans kill, abuse, cage, and eat.

    A human brain inside a sheep's head would probably not have a human mind; supporting a brain holding a human mind required all sorts of complex anatomical adaptations even just to support its size, adaptations that sheep just don't have.

    What you are going to have is human brain cells inside a sheep's skull, and that is likely mostly just going to be a creatu
  • This will make for some really fucked up zombie movies.
  • Rgh (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ksilebo (134470) *
    I really could care less about the moral bullshit surrounding this. If it weren't for some people cracking open some skulls well before most of us were born, we wouldn't be able to perform surgery the way we do now. I'm not saying we should grab someone off the street and start experimenting on them, but growing almost 100% human brains in a sheep and then experimenting on it does not bother me. Unfortunately, there are far too many people who whine about this and make noise. I really hope the research is g
  • by js7a (579872) <[james] [at] [bovik.org]> on Sunday May 01, 2005 @05:37PM (#12401069) Homepage Journal
    While it is doubtful that anyone would want a brain transplant from a human-sheep chimera
    Speak for yourself, tree-hugging ludite-boy!
  • While it is doubtful that anyone would want a brain transplant from a human-sheep chimera,

    There are quite a few co-workers I can think of that could use a brain transplant even if from a human/sheep chimera...

    hmmm....

  • by lxt (724570)
    ...with these new human brains, the sheep could join up with other human modded animals - for the sake of argument, lets say pigs, forming some sort of idealistic communist regime that turns incredibly sour?

    Of course, the fatal flaw in that logic is no human beings would ever mindlessly follow and never question their leaders? Right?
  • "Dilemma", from the Greek, meaning literally "We cloned the guy from Motorhead."

  • I believe the human mind has more to do with the structure of the human brain than with the make of of human brain cells which are probably very close to any other brain cell type.

    However our brain has many and larger structures than do other animals.

    So the chances of a human being trapped in a sheeps body is rather unlikly even if it had 100% human brain cells.

    As they have already done with mice, I believe.

    Disclaimer I'm assuming this is the same article I read the other day on chimeras (not through sl
  • by chochos (700687) on Sunday May 01, 2005 @08:27PM (#12402644) Homepage Journal
    but here it goes...
    Just the possibility of a human mind bouncing around inside a sheep's head is a scary proposition
    Would this be scary because it is the exact opposite of what we see every day, namely people with sheep's minds walking all around?

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)

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