In the name of embryonic stem cell research

Nic Fleming of the Telegraph reports that part—human, part—anumal creatures are heaed our way from a lab somewhere, and no science fiction writer is involved. All in the name of embryonic stem cell research.

British scientists have applied for permission to create embryos that are part—human, part—animal.

Two teams of researchers submitted applications to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on Monday to carry out experiments in which human cells will be fused with rabbit, cow and goat eggs.

They want to create early—stage "chimeric" embryos that would be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal in order to produce embryonic stem cells — the body's basic building blocks that can grow into all other types of cells.

Opponents called the plans "abhorrent" and claimed that scientists were undermining "the whole distinction between animals and humans".

Chinese scientists have previously shown it is possible to harvest stem cells from embryos created by fusing human cells with rabbit or cow eggs.

If licences to remove the nuclei from animal eggs, replace them with human cells and then grow stem cells are granted, the resulting embryos would be destroyed at 14 days — when they are no bigger than a pinhead.

The UK and EU are full of people who protest genertically—modified foodstuffs. Let's see if they utter a peep about genetically—modified humans.

Hat tip: Eric Schwappach

Thomas Lifson   11 8 06

Nic Fleming of the Telegraph reports that part—human, part—anumal creatures are heaed our way from a lab somewhere, and no science fiction writer is involved. All in the name of embryonic stem cell research.

British scientists have applied for permission to create embryos that are part—human, part—animal.

Two teams of researchers submitted applications to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority on Monday to carry out experiments in which human cells will be fused with rabbit, cow and goat eggs.

They want to create early—stage "chimeric" embryos that would be 99.9 per cent human and 0.1 per cent animal in order to produce embryonic stem cells — the body's basic building blocks that can grow into all other types of cells.

Opponents called the plans "abhorrent" and claimed that scientists were undermining "the whole distinction between animals and humans".

Chinese scientists have previously shown it is possible to harvest stem cells from embryos created by fusing human cells with rabbit or cow eggs.

If licences to remove the nuclei from animal eggs, replace them with human cells and then grow stem cells are granted, the resulting embryos would be destroyed at 14 days — when they are no bigger than a pinhead.

The UK and EU are full of people who protest genertically—modified foodstuffs. Let's see if they utter a peep about genetically—modified humans.

Hat tip: Eric Schwappach

Thomas Lifson   11 8 06