What is the problem with human/animal hybrids?

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Offline Joosh

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What is the problem with human/animal hybrids?
« on: 12/09/2007 13:43:32 »
Sorry i wasnt sure were to put this topic so i dumped it here.

Would it be all that bad if we made a human/animal hybrid? After all they cross bread other animals horse/zebra i know theyre like 99.9% alike or summot, but arent we with monkys? If they say were playing god, how can we if god allows us to do it in the first place?
« Last Edit: 15/09/2007 22:06:21 by chris »


Offline neilep

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Re: What is the problem with human/animal hybrids?
« Reply #1 on: 12/09/2007 15:18:53 »

I will allow someone who actually knows stuff to answer your question. I just wanted to welcome you here to our happy forum.

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Offline rosy

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Re: What is the problem with human/animal hybrids?
« Reply #2 on: 12/09/2007 18:10:21 »
Zebras and horses (also donkeys and horses) are so close to being the same thing anyway that it's not all that different from crossing two different sorts of dogs (as I understand it, not being an expert). But it's much more of a genuine hybrid (genes from both parents in the offspring) than what's proposed for the "hybrid" embryo research.
What's proposed here is quite different. The contents of the egg cell will be removed, and replaced with the complete DNA of the donor cell. The only important think (AIUI) that is coming from the non-human egg is the hormones which stimulate cell division to form undifferentiated cells.
The practical argument against allowing these hybrid embryos to continue developing beyond a few days is that cells are delicate things, and emptying them and moving DNA about between them tends to result in damage that either leads to the embryo dying off or (much more unfortunate) to a viable individual which would subsequently be much more likely to suffer from the sorts of diseases caused by degeneration of the chromosomes (such as cancers).
The other thing is that the developement of any cell is very dependent on its starting conditions, so the amount of different proteins initially present in the cell could cause it to develope differently from a normal foetus. If you're just looking to develope stem cell lines for repairing tissues that doesn't matter too much as if it doesn't work out not much is lost and you can try again, whereas if you allowed it to develop into a baby a very minor imbalance could easily lead to major developmental (physical or mental) disadvantages.


Offline chris

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What is the problem with human/animal hybrids?
« Reply #3 on: 15/09/2007 22:11:11 »
We recently discussed this concept and the benefits and potential problems on the Naked Scientists radio show and podcast:


And this is the write up of the news story, if you would prefer just to read about it:


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What is the problem with human/animal hybrids?
« Reply #4 on: 15/09/2007 23:38:16 »
In the case of a viable individual (something I cannot think of as being highly likely), I would have thought there would be serious ethical issues, since that individual would have a full human DNA, and thus might possibly be legally regarded as a human embryo.


Offline dkv

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What is the problem with human/animal hybrids?
« Reply #5 on: 16/09/2007 14:13:31 »
The cross between Humans and animals will diheartening to cells and the gene of both the species.
It will be like asking a Englishman to sit in room meant only for French.
These animals wont survive. They will die a horrible death becuase the immune system will not be able to cooperate.
The greater the genotype and phenotype similarity greater the chances of cooperation and greater the experience of pleasure therefore greater the chances of sustainibility of hybrid life.