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Friday, January 27, 2017

Mix-and-match species seem 'kind of creepy'

Mother and Baby      (Public Domain)
Clothing stores have long known the value of mix-and-match items.  Shoppers love grabbing a skirt from one rack, then finding a vest to match in the next aisle over.

Will this one day be the case with body parts?  The latest scientific research seems to be heading in that direction.

Researchers have now "grown human cells inside pig embryos” with the hopes of one day harvesting “livers and other human organs” from animals.  Such mix-and-match species are called "chimeras." 

Pig embryos have been injected with human stem cells and implanted into sows.  These cells then “generated the precursors of muscle, heart, pancreas, liver and spinal cord tissue in the embryos.” 

Notice that brains, sperm and eggs have not (yet?) been included.  Ethicists are patting themselves on their fully-human backs over this.  Nevertheless, Insoo Hyun of Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland admits:  It seems kind of creepy.

Especially from a pig’s perspective…


Copyright January 27, 2017 by Linda Van Slyke   All Rights Reserved

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