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Biotech Science

Human-Animal Hybrids Fail 554

Posted by timothy
from the good-help-hard-to-find dept.
SailorSpork writes "Fans of furries and anime-style cat girls will be disappointed by the news that attempts to create human animal hybrids have failed. Experiments by British scientists to create embryonic stem cells by putting human DNA into cow or rabbit eggs had raised ethical concerns, but the question of how we would treat sub-humans will have to wait until we actually figure out how to make them."
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Human-Animal Hybrids Fail

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  • by Shadow Wrought (586631) * <shadow...wrought@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:06PM (#26712197) Homepage Journal
    But would cow and rabbit be the most likely candidates for human hybridization? Wouldn't chimp make a lot more sense?
  • 'Sub' human? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Spatial (1235392) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:15PM (#26712431)
    Such an ugly term. How about Parahuman?
  • by benwiggy (1262536) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:15PM (#26712433)
    Privet hedges is the only other species to have 23 pairs of chromosomes - the same as Man. We should be cross-breeding humans with plants!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:17PM (#26712475)

    The problem is they're creating these to harvest organs and do scientific research. If you really think they have the same rights as a naturally-born person, then you ought to be appalled.

  • Re:Just a thought (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nobodylocalhost (1343981) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:23PM (#26712609)

    Speak of Pandora's box, replacing the animal DNA with human DNA in an animal cell is pretty much like taking out a big chunk of code out of your text editor in binary form, replace them with another chunk of code from your image editing software, without any understanding of what exactly is the processor doing, and hope the end result will actually execute and lets you edit images. TFA indicated that the right genes are getting turned off. What we really should worry about is what genes are getting turned on since our DNA is littered with inactive segments of virus RNAs. We may stumble on something that we don't know how to deal with.

  • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:26PM (#26712667)
    For me, its not so appalling because "It won't have a soul!!!" but appalling because of the chance that it _will_.

    Suppose Religion is real and you create some kind of sci-fi cartoonish Larson-esque Cow Person who actually _has_ a soul... and it spends its life, at best, ostracized by humanity, and at worse, spends its short life in experiments before being destroyed.

    Religious people aren't against cloning because they think something won't have a soul... they're against it because some scientist is playing the role of creator, father, and executioner with something that _does_ have a soul.
  • by SkOink (212592) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @01:27PM (#26712691) Homepage

    There are a lot of cases where genetic engineering (either cloning or hybridization) DOES raise many valid ethical concerns.

    Think about this:

    1) Would you feel bad about taking organs from a clone which was grown without any brain?
    2) What about a clone who had a brain the size of a bird's?
    3) What about a clone with a brain the size of a three year old?

    Or say we made some humans who had the intelligence of a dog. Would they be less than human? Could we treat them like slaves and train them just like we train dogs now? What would happen if one of the subhumans bred with a real human? Would the result be 'human' enough that you would treat it like a human?

  • by Nursie (632944) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:09PM (#26713641)

    ... that ever read the Ballad of Lost C'Mell?

    Or the Dead Lady of Clown Town?

    The Underpeople?

    Come on slashdot...

  • by ljw1004 (764174) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:13PM (#26713729)

    Every ethical argument has some unjustifiable assumptions at its base.

    "We should maximize the sum of human happiness over time." But why?

    "Do unto others as you'd have them do to you." But why?

    "Let everyone do their own thing so long as it doesn't impinge on your own happiness." But why?

    "Respect the sanctity of human life, from conception through to death." But why?

    "Don't punish the innocent." But why?

    "All men are created equal." Really? Why do you think that? ('self-evidence' isn't a very solid ground in an argument.)

    Utilitarianism and humanism are just as arbitrary as disliking human cloning. Worse, actually, since they so often fool their adherents into thinking that the basis of their morality is rationality.

  • Re:Just a thought (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zappepcs (820751) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @02:59PM (#26714631) Journal

    If it was simply patents that were in the way, you can bet that some legislators would get new summer homes and vacations etc. and the laws would change. The problem is cost associated with being ecologically and work force ethical.

    My other post hints that the only way to bring about ethics is to force it by wielding the money stick via stockholders. That works, but is not effective if businesses can ship their production facilities to a country that doesn't care about the ecology or retirement plans etc. So, if we want to create ethical business decisions regarding the human genome or any genome, we have to ensure that people with ethics are the ones deciding how the money is spent. Failing that, those people have to be afraid of people with ethics.

    Lets not kid ourselves. If there is money to be made, and there is, big business will be all over it. Genetic research is already controlled by big business so until we effectively get the government of 'we the people' to enforce ethical business practices for 'we the people', 'we the people' will suffer the consequences of decisions in favor of the biggest buck over best ethical choice.

    Basically, we're fucked. The only way out is action in the true spirit of 'fuck Mr Boycott' unless we can raise enough money to legislate big pharma and big business out of control of the government. In either case, control of the money is paramount.

  • by Rorschach1 (174480) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @03:20PM (#26715039) Homepage

    But fission bombs were just fine?

  • by jamstar7 (694492) on Tuesday February 03, 2009 @06:30PM (#26718167)
    One of my favorite authors. They rereleased [bookfinder.com] his stuff lately.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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