A reader tipped me off to the following:
September 10, 2015
It is “essential” that the genetic modification of human embryos is allowed, says a group of scientists, ethicists and policy experts.
A Hinxton Group report says editing the genetic code of early stage embryos is of “tremendous value” to research.
It adds although GM babies should not be allowed to be born at the moment, it may be “morally acceptable” under some circumstances in the future… disease-free children or “designer babies” may be on the horizon…
There have been calls for a moratorium on such research, which has left many asking where to draw the line – should any embryo research be banned, should it be allowed but only for research, or should GM babies be permitted?
A meeting of the influential Hinxton Group, in Manchester, acknowledged that the rate of progress meant there was a “pressure to make decisions” and argued embryo editing should be allowed. http://www.bbc.com/news/health-34200029
Genetic modification of plants and animals sometimes involves placing genes from one species into another. In ancient times, the combination of humans and animals were called ‘chimeras.’
What are chimeras?:
Chimeras are animals composed of cells that originate from two (or more) different species. In the research lab, chimeras are created by introducing cells from one species into the developing embryo or fetus of another. Now, researchers are developing human-animal chimeras to study disease processes, test new drugs, and develop organs for future transplant patients. The chimeras are produced by introducing human stem cells into developing animal embryos…Hybrids and chimeras are biologically different. A cell from a chimera contains the genetic material of either one parent species or the other. While each cell from a hybrid animal,such as a mule, contains genetic material from both parent species…Because human-animal chimeras contain human cells—or even tissues or organs that are primarilyhuman—ethical concerns surround the question of just what or who chimeras are. Because they were created under laboratory conditions for research purposes, are chimeras lab animals? Or, will chimeras eventually be developed that are too human to be considered otherwise? http://www.ahc.umn.edu/img/assets/25857/chimeras.pdf
So, chimeras are a combination of genes from two species which somewhat make a new species. Scientists now wish to create their own human chimeras.
Some might consider this to be a step in the creation of Frankenstein-like creatures. Some might also recall the 1973 science-fiction movieSolyent Green where humans ended up in the food supply. Now, scientists keep working to somehow get human embryos modified to be part of medical supplies (some have claimed that already has happened with vaccines, see Human Fetal Tissue Being Used for Vaccines?). Do not be surprised if some combination human-animal product ends up in the food supply–scientists have already been working on putting human genes in cows to make special milk–so this is not far-fetched. ... Read full article
News Presenter: John Hickey