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Biotech Government It's funny.  Laugh. Politics

Louisiana Rep. Preps State Bill Banning Human-Animal Hybrids 422

mikeljnola writes with an excerpt from that says state senator Danny Martiny (R-Kenner) will introduce a bill to the Louisiana legislature on April 27 to "'make it illegal to "create or attempt to create a human-animal hybrid, ... transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a non-human womb ... (or) transfer or attempt to transfer a non-human embryo into a human womb."' With budget cuts all around, our struggling state is concerned with the eminent danger of human-animal hybrids. The upside is that the odds of the Louisiana becoming the Bayous of Dr. Boudreaux are now even slimmer."
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Louisiana Rep. Preps State Bill Banning Human-Animal Hybrids

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  • by betterunixthanunix ( 980855 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:26AM (#27613793)
    I recall an experiment involving a human-cow hybrid; specifically, human nuclear DNA and cow mitochondrial DNA. The embryo was allowed to grow to 16 cells before being destroyed, and there were a lot of cries about the ethics of such experiments.
  • Zoophilia? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Lord_Frederick ( 642312 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:29AM (#27613865)

    If you had sex with a human-animal hybrid, could you be prosecuted for bestiality? Of course *I* wouldn't have sex with a hybrid. Not that there's anything wrong with that. I think.

  • by Orleron ( 835910 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:30AM (#27613893) Homepage
    It may sound dumb, but....

    Directly combining cells from two species is one thing, and this bill is going after that, but the term "hybrid" makes me nervous. A mouse with a single human gene is technically a hybrid. Are they going to outlaw transgenic lab animals, therefore? That would be a huge blow to science.
    Gotta love the Catholic Church, the bastions of innovation and human progress that they are. Not.
  • by Absolut187 ( 816431 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:33AM (#27613959) Homepage

    >> 'make it illegal to "create or attempt to create a human-animal hybrid, ... transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a non-human womb

    Why would you want to make this illegal???

    If we could rent a cow to gestate a baby (or three) we could have more children sooner.
    It would also give us the option to have children in parallel, i.e. many children of the same age, instead of being limited to the traditional serial production methods.

    Personally, I find it absurd that in 2009 women still have to carry babies around in their bellies for 9 months. This is one of the burdens that causes hard-working professionals to delay having children, or reduce the number of children they have.

    Didn't we learn anything from Idiocracy??
    This is the answer people!

  • Since when... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gardyloo ( 512791 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:33AM (#27613965)

    are humans not animals?

  • What a shock (Score:2, Interesting)

    by kuzb ( 724081 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:35AM (#27614031)
    Clicking on the link, the first thing that caught my eye was a picture of a catholic priest. When are we going to stop allowing these people to mess around in our science and politics? Separate church and state already.
  • Re:Damn (Score:5, Interesting)

    by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:37AM (#27614085)

    transfer or attempt to transfer a human embryo into a non-human womb ... (or) transfer or attempt to transfer a non-human embryo into a human womb

    This has got to be one of the stupidest thing I've ever read. The one thing that would quickly decrease the risks of pregnancy to absolutely zero is an artificial womb! Pregnancy itself has a host of potential complications that range from mildly irritating to quite deadly (eg. abdominal stria, pregnancy induced diabetes, pre-ecclampsia, ecclampsia, deep vein thrombosis, pulmonary thromboemboli, amniotic fluid emboli, ectopic pregnancy, choriocarcinoma, etc.).

    Hopefully this piece of legislation gets voted down.

  • by the_humeister ( 922869 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:44AM (#27614253)

    Why do people make such a big deal about these things? So what if that embryo had cow mitochondria?

  • by macraig ( 621737 ) <> on Friday April 17, 2009 @11:51AM (#27614453)

    Unless this prohibits ALL the numerous creative means of achieving genetic "intermingling", this bill is pretty much useless except to satisfy one particular faction's pseudo-moral obsession.

  • uhh.. define human ? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by goffster ( 1104287 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @12:07PM (#27614789)

    without using the term "human"

  • by SpuriousLogic ( 1183411 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @12:23PM (#27615107)
    Humans are already animals, so would this mean that human to human mixing would be illegal? Jesting aside, this might be hard to legislate, as it would require a scientific description of exactly what genes are required to be human. While at first pass this might seem to be a no-brainer, it actually opens up some serious ethical concerns. If you get a child that has a genetic mutation that either has extra genetic material (or less) than the definition, that person could LEGALLY be considered not human. This is an enormous can of worms. What rights would a sentient non-human, who looks human, expect to have in society?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @12:28PM (#27615239)

    "Why do people make such a big deal about these things?"

    Because "people" often protest or complain that the law is all to often behind scientific progress, instead of leading it. This usually occurs after something that is scientificly not a great leap for the field but is a shock to the general public and laypersons.

    This was the case with in vitro fertilization decades ago. Embryo storage and parental rights in the late 80s and early 90s. This was the case with Dolly, which ended up with federal attention on cloning which continues today. Now this, even though mammallian hybrids have been attempted and were successful before. People don't seem to realize that they've already genetically selected and engineered human embryos (see Carlos Boozer's family); if something was discovered to enhance survivability in mammals, there is little to no impediment to the DNA being introduced and zero oversight.

    Now that the story is the law itself leading or attempting to curb, expect the knee jerk "state with a Republican governor is setting back science" crap that beset the Bush administration (which many claimed "interfered" with science, esp. if you read the comments and opinions by the Scientific American magazine editors (otherwise decent science coverage)). Now, I know some of you out there think Bush interfered with science and policy and was the first to do so, but that's not the case. (I'd rather have a treatment that is available to be used by more people than less.)

    Also, you say people. Which people? You people? Them people? Media? Liberal? Conservative? Middle? In general?

    On /., it's all to often the case the anti-science story is put forward because /. has a leftist bent to it, so any Texas, Kansas, Kentucky, or Lousiana story to bash what are traditionally peceived conservative states and to raise the profile of the "the liberals are right." It's political stereotyping, similar to the present day attack against the Texas governor's alleged secession talk; it doesn't matter what was actually said and meant, but someone wants to whip some crowd up instead of having an actual discussion of the matter (see Hardball 2009.04.16). It doesn't matter Texas has a huge technology industry, probably only second to California. Alabama is often attacked for being deep south conservative with a put down and downtrodden black majority, ignoring the fact that it has military and space resources and port locations that are highly efficient and at the forefront.

    It's a double-standard, akin to when some white guy alleged rapes a black woman, it's disgusting racism and an example of class superiority abuse in our equal in principal not in reality society (see Duke lacrosse team), but the dozen or more white college girls raped and reported in Hyde Park by south side Chicago black men over the past 2 decades is simply crime or excusable "getting back"--at the very least the coverage is not the same to fit the liberal media bent.

    This is the problem with a selected submission process on /. that does not have overall review--it's an aristocracy, chosen to cater to a populist crowd, enhanced by a moderation system that is abused regularly and feeds on itself. Lousiana is considered backwards--see the crawlfish comments, attacks on religion or trying to blame religion as the cause (WHAT state doesn't have huge religion?), attacks on southern states, etc.

    Same old shit, different party, different president.

  • Re:Damn (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Attila Dimedici ( 1036002 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @01:15PM (#27616277)
    Having read your post, I fail to see why you think that "people" have any inherent value. As far as I can tell, you believe that humans are biological machines. If that is correct what value do they have beyond a sufficiently complex machine. For that matter what is this term "value"? Is it how much money you are willing to spend to obtain one?
  • Re:Damn (Score:3, Interesting)

    by cream wobbly ( 1102689 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @01:43PM (#27616803)

    Oh man. You have no idea. Just go to the Pirate Bay and download "The Business of Being Born".

    Summary of why you're so egregiously wrong:

    1. Childbirth in hospitals is on your back. Exactly the wrong position for giving birth. It's done this way to make it easier for doctors (not midwives) to peer in there.

    1a. Caesarian section, if the foetus is breech. Hospital stay is three days minimum. Skip to 5.

    2. Because labor is more painful in that position and takes longer, pain medication is administered.

    3. When pain medication is administered, contractions become less frequent, and less effective, so labor is lengthened yet again.

    4. Eventually an epidural is administered because the labor takes so long and the doctor has an important meal to take care of at home. I'm not making this shit up.

    4a. Caesarian section, if the baby doesn't pop out during this time. Stay is three days minimum.

    5. The baby is removed from the mother immediately for measuring, weighing, and visual observation. This takes several hours. During this time, the baby is washed, removing the baby's film of mucus which is an important part of establishing the mother-child bond. (I stayed with our son, so that at least he had a father-child bond. The other eight babies in the production line became more relaxed too as I sang to him. Their parents didn't bother.)

    5a. It used to be that the baby was given, without informing either parent, a drug to cause them to reject mother's milk so that formula could be administered.

    6. Parents are advised to confine baby to a transparent plastic fish tank-like container, rather than forming close physical attachments.

    7. Baby is removed in fish tank for further observation, obviating the need for the immediate observations which interfered with mother-child bonding.

    8. Breastfeeding is discouraged; formula is encouraged with the use of "free" sample products. (Who the hell do you think pays for these?)

    9. Darkened hospital room causes jaundice, which is used to scare the parents into having shots administered.

    10. Parents are not allowed to carry baby anywhere during their stay, told to use fish tank, because "If you trip and fall and hurt the baby, we're not insured for that". (I didn't use the fish tank -- I carried him and told the staff to shut up.)

    11. Mother and child are released from hospital, in a wheelchair like she's a cripple or something. (In our case, my wife refused to sit in the spack chariot, and stood in the air conditioned lobby while I fetched the car and cooled it down. When she walked toward the car, she was challenged by the dipshit "security" monkey who'd just seen her leave, in case she was abducting another baby. "No, one's enough, thanks.")

    12. Insurance doesn't pay for every item; chooses only to cover 80% of the costs it does cover, and covers them at 80%. Of the items they cover, that's a 36% burden on the insured. Many items such as the anesthetist are entirely paid for by the "insured".

    13. Lack of counselling means that immunizations are done at paediatricians' offices, rather than at state-run or county-run clinics, racking up unnecessary costs against a minimal annual limit of insurance for "preventative medicine". Costs of $100 to $250 a shot through a paediatrician versus $15 per visit at a clinic.

    14. Constant advice to switch to formula, wean, use chemical diapers rather than cloth, and "cry it out" rather than natural co-sleeping.

    15. Constant bewilderment as to why he's so advanced mentally (hint: co-sleeping and attachment parenting), and further bewilderment as to how he can be "potty trained" at 15 months due to natural elimination communication.

    Those three days were the absolute worst experience of our lives. Can I stress that enough? The absolute worst.

    The civilized alternative would have been real childbirth -- I and my brothers were all delivered breech. Yes, it takes longer than non-breech labor, b

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 17, 2009 @01:57PM (#27617051)

    Of course employers hate children. They are a time drain on their employees. EMPLOYERS CARE ABOUT MAKING MONEY.

  • by nEoN nOoDlE ( 27594 ) on Friday April 17, 2009 @05:32PM (#27620357) Homepage

    I know which faith I'd rather have influencing law makers.

    So do I... none.

"The pathology is to want control, not that you ever get it, because of course you never do." -- Gregory Bateson