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While the idea of such an experiment may seem far-fetched, scientists around the world have been dabbling in creation of human-animal hybrids for years.
Today, Ohio's Senate Health, Human Services and Aging Committee passed S.B. 243 – a ban on human-animal hybrids. The bill prohibits "human cloning, the creation, transportation, or receipt of a human-animal hybrid, the transfer of a nonhuman embryo into a human womb, and the transfer of a human embryo into a nonhuman womb."
Mark Harrington, executive director of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform Midwest and president of the Pro-life Institute, presented expert testimony. "We all want to see treatments for sickness," he said. "We all want to see cures for disease. But the question is at what price?" He added, "I am becoming more and more convinced when it comes to emerging bio technologies like human-animal hybrids that many of these researchers do not believe in any limits on research as long as it has the possibility to produce an economic end that suits their agenda."
Scientists have had some success with human-animal hybrid experiments. In 2003, Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University fused human cells with rabbit embryos, according to National Geographic News. The embryos were given several days to develop before the scientists destroyed them to harvest stem cells.
According to the report, researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota were able to create pigs with human blood flowing through their bodies in 2004.
"Scientists feel that, the more humanlike the animal, the better research model it makes for testing drugs or possibly growing 'spare parts,' such as livers, to transplant into humans," National Geographic reported. "Watching how human cells mature and interact in a living creature may also lead to the discoveries of new medical treatments."
In 2005, New York scientist Stuart Newman sought a patent on a on a process to combine human embryo cells with cells from the embryo of a monkey, ape or other animal. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected his request, according to the Washington Post, because the hybrid "would be too closely related to a human to be patentable." However, the decision was a victory for Newman, who reportedly had no intention of creating the hybrids. He simply sought a legal precedent to stop others from obtaining patents on living things.
A researcher at the University of Nevada at Reno, Esmail Zanjani, successfully grew mostly human livers in sheep. His goal was to make the humanized livers available for transplant in people.
In 2008, British scientists produced human-animal hybrid embryos by inserting human DNA from a skin cell into a hollowed-out cow embryo. "An electric shock then induced the hybrid embryo to grow," London's Guardian reported. "The embryo, 99.9 percent human and 0.1 percent other animal, grew for three days, until it had 32 cells."
The Arizona state Senate passed a bill just last month making it illegal for a person to "intentionally or knowingly creating a human-animal hybrid." Louisiana passed a similar law in 2009. Currently, there is no U.S. law banning human-animal hybrid research.
In 2006, then-President George W. Bush used his State of the Union address to urge Congress to pass legislation prohibiting "egregious abuses of medical research," including "creating human-animal hybrids."
Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Mary Landrieu, D-La., introduced S. 1435, the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009 in the U.S. Senate last year.
Originally posted by anon72
In what may seem more like a Hollywood science-fiction plot, as in the forthcoming movie "Splice," lawmakers are trying to prevent scientists from combining human and animal embryos to make "human-animal hybrids."
Originally posted by wigit
While I'm here, anyone know what happened with the attempt to splice goat with spiders to make ultra sticky goats milk glue? That was years ago in all the news, but I don't recall any more. Poor damned goats, that's all I can say.