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Scientists secretly grew human-animal hybrids in laboratory experiments

Discussion in 'Veterinary Medicine' started by Egyptian Doctor, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. Egyptian Doctor

    Egyptian Doctor  Moderator Verified Doctor

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    Scientists have created more than 150
    human-animal hybrid embryos in British laboratories.

    The hybrids have been produced secretively
    over the past three years by researchers looking into possible cures for a wide
    range of diseases.

    The revelation comes just a day after a
    committee of scientists warned of a nightmare ”˜Planet of the Apes’ scenario in
    which work on human-animal creations goes too far.

    Last night a campaigner against the excesses
    of medical research said he was disgusted that scientists were ”˜dabbling in the
    grotesque’.

    Figures seen by the Daily Mail show that 155
    ”˜admixed’ embryos, containing both human and animal genetic material, have
    been created since the introduction of the 2008 Human Fertilisation Embryology
    Act.

    This legalised the creation of a variety of
    hybrids, including an animal egg fertilised by a human sperm; ”˜cybrids’, in
    which a human nucleus is implanted into an animal cell; and ”˜chimeras’, in which
    human cells are mixed with animal embryos.

    Scientists say the techniques can be used to
    develop embryonic stem cells which can be used to treat a range of incurable
    illnesses.


    Three labs in the UK ”“ at King’s College
    London, Newcastle University and Warwick University ”“ were granted licences to
    carry out the research after the Act came into force.

    All have now stopped creating hybrid embryos
    due to a lack of funding, but scientists believe that there will be more such
    work in the future.

    The figure was revealed to crossbench peer
    Lord Alton following a Parliamentary question.


    Last night he said: ”˜I argued in Parliament
    against the creation of human- animal hybrids as a matter of principle. None of
    the scientists who appeared before us could give us any justification in terms
    of treatment.

    ”˜Ethically it can never be justifiable ”“ it
    discredits us as a country. It is dabbling in the grotesque.

    ”˜At every stage the justification from
    scientists has been: if only you allow us to do this, we will find cures for
    every illness known to mankind. This is emotional blackmail.

    ”˜Of the 80 treatments and cures which have
    come about from stem cells, all have come from adult stem cells ”“ not embryonic
    ones.

    ”˜On moral and ethical grounds
    this fails; and on scientific and medical ones too.’

    Josephine Quintavalle, of pro-life group
    Comment on Reproductive Ethics, said: ”˜I am aghast that this is going on and we
    didn’t know anything about it.

    ”˜Why have they kept this a secret? If they are
    proud of what they are doing, why do we need to ask Parliamentary questions for
    this to come to light?

    ”˜The problem with many scientists is that they
    want to do things because they want to experiment. That is not a good enough
    rationale.’

    Earlier this week, a group of leading
    scientists warned about ”˜Planet of the Apes’ experiments. They called for new
    rules to prevent lab animals being given human attributes, for example by
    injecting human stem cells into the brains of primates.

    But the lead author of their report,
    Professor Robin Lovell-Badge, from the Medical Research Council’ s National
    Institute for Medical Research, said the scientists were not concerned about
    human-animal hybrid embryos because by law these have to be destroyed within 14
    days.

    He said: ”˜The reason for doing these
    experiments is to understand more about early human development and come up with
    ways of curing serious diseases, and as a scientist I feel there is a moral
    imperative to pursue this research.

    ”˜As long as we have sufficient controls ”“ as
    we do in this country ”“ we should be proud of the research.’

    However, he called for stricter controls on
    another type of embryo research, in which animal embryos are implanted with a
    small amount of human genetic material.

    Human-animal hybrids are also created in other
    countries, many of which have little or no regulation.

    Source : DailyMail
     

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    Last edited: Jul 25, 2011
  2. DR.G

    DR.G Super Moderator

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    Before coming to the researches' using animals-apes etc;i don't understand why aren't the researchers allowed to work on the remaining embryos left from the ART thing.They (usually,mostly) destroy them after the successful IVFs.If it were possible to work on them,everyone can imagine what wonderful things can be done.
    'The moral issue'_again dilemmas...
     

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