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2008-02-10
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Animal Human Hybrids

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Tagged As: Biology and Science

The shortage of viable human organs for transplant is a very real threat to prompt medical treatment. It has even led to an illegal, underground market in organ harvesting. One proposition that still rages in debate is the use of stem cells for growing the necessary organs in a lab. A second proposition suggests genetically altering animals to make their organs more compatible for transplant. And now, a third proposition is on the table which has already been given the "go-ahead" by regulators in the United Kingdom: animal-human hybrids.

Under the hybrid plan, scientists will mate human cells with animal eggs and allow the hybrid to gestate for fourteen days. After the cells grow, the "non-human" stem cells will be harvested and the hybrid organism would be destroyed. Scientists declare the procedure is necessary as the supply of human eggs is running low and of questionable quality. The technique is not without critics, especially from the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, who claim "the deliberate blurring of the boundaries between humans and other species is wrong and strikes at the heart of what makes us human."



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