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Human-Animal Hybrids and Chimeras Banned

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posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 08:47 AM

The Ohio Senate has banned human cloning and animal-human hybridisation.

The sci-fi movie Splice seems to have scared the Ohio’s State Senator Steve Buehrer. The Ohio Senate has passed Sen. Buehrer’s bill banning human cloning and the use of human-animal hybrids. Senate Bill 243 prohibits “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.”


My first thoughts were to laugh out loud at the hysterical nonsense that gets passed these days. Human-animal hybrids? Have they seen too many sci-fi movies and panicked? Seen too many catgirls in Japanese manga? I pictured kids in animal costumes getting dragged out of birthday parties at gunpoint.

Banned?! No way!


1. A Chimera is produced when a human embryo is fused with an animal embryo
2. An Hybrid is produced when a human female egg is fertilised with animal sperm or vice-versa
3. A "Cybrid" is produced when an animal cell's genetic material is removed and replaced with human genetic material.

Here's a little background. (I'm not a medical man, so any errors in translation or interpretation are due to that)

In 2003 Chinese scientists spliced human cells to rabbit embryos The rabbits developed naturally, but they were killed days after birth and harvested for stem cells. A year later, in Minnesota, pigs were created that apparently had human blood. We've grown human livers in sheep and human brain cells in rats and mice. The livers could be useful for transplants and blood for transfusions.

Human ears are grown on mice...
Mouse with human ears

In 2008 a British team successfully combined human cells with a cow's ovary to produce hybrid embryos for study. They hope to work out the cure for Parkinson's, Motor Neurone Disease and Alzheimers.

Lyle Armstrong, who led the work, gained permission in January from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to create the embryos, known as "cytoplasmic hybrids".

His team at Newcastle University produced the embryos by inserting human DNA from a skin cell into a hollowed-out cow egg. An electric shock then induced the hybrid embryo to grow. The embryo, 99.9% human and 0.1% other animal, grew for three days, until it had 32 cells.

Eventually, scientists hope to grow such embryos for six days, and then extract stem cells from them. The researchers insisted the embryos would never be implanted into a woman and that the only reason they used cow eggs was due to the scarcity of human eggs.
First British human-animal hybrid embryos created by scientists

So we can see that this type of research is not for the faint-hearted. I certainly couldn't do it, but I appreciate the benefits that could be gained from this area of science.

An imagined human/pig hybrid

The Ohio Bill has weighed up the merits of the research against some emotional morality and banned it. It'll have as much impact on the development of this science as Bush did when he banned stem cell research. Despite his emotional quasi-religious stance, stem cell research is thriving. A friend's daughter has Cystic Fibrosis and she's watching it very carefully. Families with high probabilities of Parkinsons and Alzheimers are likewise hoping to escape their fate. Such hopes can be characterised as 'selfish,' but I'd argue they don't want to be the cause of unhappiness to loved ones.

Senator Breuher demonstrates the extent of his insight in this quote from earlier this week...

“While thoughts of animal-human hybrids conger up images for science fiction movies, it is no fantasy that several labs around the world have or are attempting to combine animal and human cells,”
Stem cell research no longer threatened by Ohio Senate bill

There's a more scientific argument in support of the Bill. There's always going to be a risk that introducing proteins from one species to another could trigger even worse conditions. We could exchange Alzheimers for something like CJD for example. HIV came from chimps. Some versions of Avian Flu cause leukaemia. These are real dangers. Are they enough to justify the ban?

Is it an abuse of Animal Rights and Human Rights? The treatment of animals by humans is often appalling. I'd hate to see labs of animals being cruelly treated, but that's isn't cause to ban the research. There can be ethical, humane (don't laugh!) studies.

From my point of view, if science follows ethical guidelines...anything goes. This Bill seems like yet another reflection of the contagious anti-intellectualism that defines modern politics. Science continually takes a back-seat to popularity, religious views and political lobbying. I understand there are risks in this research. There's cost versus benefit. Having said that, is it right to block research without good reason? Should we be banning potentially valuable areas of study on the basis of 'what if?'

I've got a 'what if' for Breuher! What if his son or daughter requires heart valve surgery? Will he stop them from having a pig's valve replacement? That's fairly standard these days. If his parents develop leukaemia or Alzheimer's, will he deny them stem cell treatments? My faith in politicians says "Hell no!" He'll send his family members out of State to get the treatments he denies to the less fortunate.

It's fortunate that ignorant politicians only have limited jurisdictions and longevity. Their influence may be damaging within their sphere, but there's always other countries carrying the flame of scientific endeavour. Anyway, I guess this is approaching a rant so I'll quit and post it!

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 08:55 AM
I am working on a thread as we speak (it is a thread of many days work) about human animal hybrids or as they call them cybrids.

From what I have learned there is no point in the mixing of the two. They will not get viable stem cells from a cybrid that they can use in a human and the data they gain could have been learned from normal animal or human embryos (the human embryo is more expensive and harder to obtain though).

Also from my understanding they are saying (though I have to wonder if they are telling the truth) that the cybrids will die after a few days no matter if left to their own or just destroyed. Supposedly the animal part cannot encourage growth past a certain stage (32 cells I believe).

Do not worry though Obama is working on overturning Bushes decisions on this type of stuff. Plenty of other places will pick it up quickly.


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:07 AM
Ahhh yes.

The disposable animal population on earth so we can breed and grow our over population even larger. Life has it's limits. We are born grow old and die. Some of us die early some live longer. Normal Human life spans and disease have for centuries kept out numbers in check. Genetic abnormalities have also contributed to our natural population control but due to advancements in medicine and the sciences we have people living longer and procreating when IMO they should have died off but now they are passing on their genetic defects when if nature took it's course they would have died a long time ago.

Survival of the fittest? Seem barbaric? I know but it has served mankind well throughout his history but now people who should have fallen from the gene pool are now out there spreading their genetic material creating whole sections of the population with their abnormalities. Having said that, I'm all for research for organ replacements and such but We really need to take a cold hard look at these types of research projects IMO. Simply because we can doesn't necessarily mean we should do it.

Stop and think for a second where will this end? Or will it end? How far are we willing to take this? Are these other creatures really disposable and what right do we have to use them as mini organ factories? There is a huge ethical and moral call here that many seem to just overlook. I'm torn myself. I can see both sides of this argument.

Just a few thoughts on the subject. I'm not really pro or con. Just some food for thought


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:07 AM
Move along!
Nothing to see here.
Double post.

Move along.

[edit on 4-6-2010 by SLAYER69]

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:16 AM
reply to post by Raist
I look forward to the thread

I read about this ban a couple hours ago and thought it seemed interesting enough to share on ATS. What began as me flipping out about the politics changed into fascination. We can't see beneficial adventures in science and just turn away! Also once we discover something, it's hard to put down.

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:17 AM
i found the imagined picture of the human/pig hybrid very amusing to say the least. but i do think it is morally wrong for the animal itself, but i think if its for medical means to help people survive, then yes, i support it, my own grandad suffered from Motor Neurone Disease and i have seen many of my friends family suffer from parkinsons and alzheimers disease, and i really hope they can find cures for these things, and if this helps, then so be it!

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:24 AM
reply to post by SLAYER69
Fair points and well made

I appreciate your stance on 'you get what's coming to you.' If we're cold about it, that's the natural order and should *maybe* stay that way. The kicker is that whenever anything happens to the people we love...we want something done about it. That's the warm emotion of love kicking our logic in the nuts.

It'd be a strong mind that allowed someone to remain ill on a principle.

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:27 AM
This sound like classic war of the worlds fear to me however, it may be that this ban on hybridity is a good thing. We soon wont NEED this research in any case, because soon doctors will be able to simply "print" new organs on demand, without the need for an organ to be grown using animal dna. Im serious, look it up.
The research which has been banned seems to me to have no logical purpose when you consider that new body parts will be machine built to suit the prospective owners needs, rather than being grown inside or on animals. That is of course unless one sees the need for a person with the sense of smell of a dog, and the visual accuity of a cat in the dark.
I would love to know what is worth defending about this particular research, and what benifits for mankind OTHER than organ donation and research affiliated with that, might be extracted from its fruits.

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:31 AM
reply to post by Dr Slim

i found the imagined picture of the human/pig hybrid very amusing to say the least.

No, I guess you wouldn't want to eat it or sleep with it! Bad bacon and none too pretty...all the bad aspects of women and pork in one package!

Regarding the potential to save or improve lives. Who could say no? And who would let them?

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:33 AM

Originally posted by Kandinsky


A previous thread already exists:

Spliced Human-Animal Hybrids Banned by Ohio, now US Considers

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:36 AM
reply to post by Kandinsky


Well to be honest I am against this (animal human hybrids). There are several reasons which I bring up in the thread I am working on (I am about ¾ the way through lol). Some of those points are actually off handedly brought up by the people reporting the articles and the scientists themselves.

They include human cloning (some of the cybrids are 99% human).
GM humans.
GM animals (some might have good uses but there are risks as well). Not the same as the mixing of a horse and donkey or a lion and a tiger. I am talking about things like the spider goats and the glow in the dark pigs and cats.

And of course if they are lying about the cybrids dying after the first few days. What kind of rights would a creature like that have? Of course the ramifications of what they might be doing behind closed doors.

That is sort of an over view on the thread. I suspect I will need 2-4 posts at the start to get it all in. I include a ton of links as well throughout the piece and at the end related links.


posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:41 AM
I don't know, I someday want to become a minotaur with a loincloth made of nanomachines.

Personally, I can't tell where I stand as far as growing some chimera/cybrids in a lab is concerned. On one hand, it is very interesting and cool to my inner 15 year old, but on the other, it's sort of giving way too much potential power to scientists and govt.

Fluoride Cows!

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:52 AM
I am all for human cloning but not for animal because humans can consent and the animals cannot. It is forced upon animals and that is why I don't take it in a positive manner.

posted on Jun, 4 2010 @ 09:57 AM
A previous thread already exists:

Spliced Human-Animal Hybrids Banned by Ohio, now US Considers

Thread Closed

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