Author Topic: Chimeras  (Read 114 times)

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Offline shnozzola

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Chimeras
« on: May 18, 2016, 05:32:41 PM »
So the university of California is doing experiments where a pig embryo has stem cells from a human inserted into it to try to get animal systems to grow such things as a liver, pancreas, or other organs.  The question is whether the stem cells may migrate, possibly human stem cells combining in the brain with the pig's brain cells.  The National Institute of Health will so far not support the research with funding, but scientists are starting the research with private funding.

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But some scientists and bioethicists worry the creation of these interspecies embryos crosses the line. "You're getting into unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity," says Stuart Newman, a professor of cell biology and anatomy at the New York Medical College.

http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/05/18/478212837/in-search-for-cures-scientists-create-embryos-that-are-both-animal-and-human
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Offline wright

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Re: Chimeras
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2016, 06:15:55 PM »
Interesting. I hope this research succeeds at its primary goal.

But I wonder how much foundation the concern of accidentally creating chimeras with human-level consciousness actually has? Is that an extremely unlikely outcome, mentioned for sensationalism? Or is this research so cutting-edge that even specialists in the relevant fields just can't say?
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Online CrystalDragon

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Re: Chimeras
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2016, 07:48:19 PM »
I just had a thought—say humans did somehow create chimeras with human-level intelligence, maybe even speech capabilities (I know some sort of Animal Farm-esque thing may not be possible, but bear with me). Many people see us humans as humans as God's chosen race because we're the only one's gifted with expressible intelligence and self-awareness. If animals started expressing this capability as well, how might some of the more devoutly religious fundamentalists react?
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

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Offline wright

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Re: Chimeras
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2016, 08:29:28 PM »
^^^Being fundamentalists, probably something like "it's the work of Satan".

From the linked article:
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"You're getting into unsettling ground that I think is damaging to our sense of humanity," says Stuart Newman, a professor of cell biology and anatomy at the New York Medical College.

I would say challenging, rather than damaging. As in, what exactly does it mean to be human, biologically, legally and so forth? For instance, it turns out it's possible for some people to have more than one distinct genome, "natural" chimeras:

http://www.babycenter.com/0_strange-but-true-one-person-born-with-two-sets-of-dna-a-chim_10364937.bc

Obviously these individuals are regarded as human, despite being markedly different than most of us at the genetic level. As that article concludes, that may be more common than was previously assumed. So if we currently recognize such variations as part of the human spectrum, is it that great a leap that someone with genes deliberately inserted into their genome could also be recognized as human?
Live a good life... If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
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Online CrystalDragon

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Re: Chimeras
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2016, 10:08:17 PM »
I feel like there could be a novel based around that, like a self-discovery mix of Frankenstein, Animal Farm, Zootopia, etc.
Sometimes what is unknown is the most interesting.

"It is always darker right before the light.  Or for some people, it just stays dark, but they don't seem to notice."

Offline nogodsforme

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Re: Chimeras
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2016, 10:51:56 PM »
Well, I know what the number one most important burning question about part-human chimeras will be in North Carolina.....

Will normal non-chimera humans be forced to share a bathroom with them?
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: Chimeras
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2016, 04:47:37 PM »
I feel like there could be a novel based around that, like a self-discovery mix of Frankenstein, Animal Farm, Zootopia, etc.
It is already part of a film:


And the whole film is here (this has Spanish Subtitles but there's probably one without somewhere: Well worth watching - a cult movie.
http:[remove this]//www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH1-be-69dM
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”