comScore UK Wants to Regulate Human-Animal Research | The Mary Sue
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The UK Will Not Allow Human-Animal Hybrids to Happen All Willy-Nilly

We Can't Have Nice Things

Those in charge of such things in the UK are calling for stricter regulations on scientific research into human-animal hybrids, saying that some of it is getting too weird to be morally acceptable. While it is actually not that uncommon to incorporate animal DNA into solving a human health problem — such as hemophilia — some scientific researchers think that there aren’t enough regulations to stop the more wily scientists from trying to do things that should only happen in science fiction. So, all of you Brits who were hoping to fuse your DNA with the super-healing powers of dolphins, start your Twitter campaigns now.

Most of these human-animal-DNA experiments are only conducted at the cellular level. For example, rat DNA has been used in the first studies on stem cell therapy in human stroke patients and human DNA has been inserted into mice as a way to study cancer. But what these UK researchers are worried about is going beyond just cells and into the territory of giving humans actual physical characteristics of animals and vice versa. Like humans taking on the scales of a reptile or animals gaining the ability of human speech.

“Where people begin to worry is when you get to the brain, to the germ (reproductive) cells, and to the sort of central features that help us recognize what is a person, like skin texture, facial shape and speech,” said Martin Bobrow, a professor of medical genetics at the University of Cambridge, in a news conference.

The controversy initially came from the creation of human embryos by inserting a human nucleus into a “hollowed out” cow’s egg with the intention of using the newly-formed creation to study diseases. Maybe our more scientific readers can tell us why they would try something like that, but as a non-scientist, I’d have to say that yeah, that’s kind of weird. And this is coming from someone who really wishes she could be part-dolphin.

(Top pic via Felicia Day on Twitter)

(Popular Science)

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