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."
Humanity has the stars in its future, and that future is too important to be
lost under the burden of juvenile folly and ignorant superstition.
- Isaac Asimov