Wow. The NIH is now funding research that adds human stem cells to animal embryos in hopes of developing pigs or sheep with human organs that could be used in transplantation. The researchers have acknowledged that there is a risk of the organisms (chimeras) being "too" human, and displaying human like thought and development further than just in organs. I work in biological research in the summers and love science, but in my view this is taking science many steps too far. I understand the need for organ donation, and the pain people awaiting organs go through, but ethics are ethics. Further than the pain these animals will experience, experiments such as these seem near frivolous in our current times. We have an incredibly overpopulated planet and a climate disaster that is already making the possibility of feeding people adequately unlikely. We have other species going extinct due to human crowding and pollution at horrifying rates. So many humans on the planet do not have basic access to food, water and shelter - yet the rich nations are going to grow organs to live forever? Additionally, this research has the possibility of making uniquely animal diseases transmittable to humans. This is not worth it. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should.
Also, if you've read Margaret Atwood's apocalyptic "Oryx and Crake" this seems far too familiar....
#ethics #morality #genetics #cruelty #science #chimera #atwood