This has been a hot topic of debate for quite some time. What was previously seen in sci-fi films is now a reality. Are we in fact playing God when we blur the line between human and animal?
Scientists support this disturbing practice because they can grow human organs, and in theory help people in need of transplants. There is, however, one minor detail that has people worried. What happens to these part human creatures when they mate…it’s beyond strange, it’s frightening, and medical ethics experts are pleading with scientists to head their advice.
According to National Public Radio, privately funded scientists are doing the unthinkable — making embryos that are part human, part animal. Pigs are the best choice, they say, and these interspecies are being created so that a pig can grow a human liver or pancreas.
This is so controversial because the dangers are so incredibly scary. The scientists say they take out the gene that grows the pig pancreas and replaces it with the human gene. As the embryo grows, the organ develops. As it matures, it is ready for transplant. However, the dangers of what can go wrong when you start to mix human genes with pig genes will make your skin crawl.
One is that the human stem cells (which can become any type of tissue) could create human brain cells in the pigs and change their “cognitive state,” per the Technology Review. Another is that the pigs could end up with human sperm and eggs, mate with other pigs, and give birth to a creature that’s part-pig, part-human.
The other problem is that these experiments are only going on in privately funded labs. Medical ethics experts have banned this from governmental funds, or if you really are into good conspiracy theories, the government is doing this without our knowledge, which is probably not so far-fetched.
While this is gross, to say the least, I think they are being a bit dramatic. We could potentially save lives by creating human organs. We already use pig skin for skin grafts on burn victims, is there much of a difference here? One scientist even says that they aren’t doing this to create a monstrous creature, they’re doing it for biomedical purposes. Are there lines we shouldn’t cross, like creating creatures with the cognitive ability to match humans? Maybe people are just afraid that what happened in Planet Of The Apes will happen for real?
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