Hermaphrostein?

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"An experiment in the United States has created a mixed-sex human embryo."

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  1. Sounds like the researcher’s mistake was combining male and female cells. Even though it was just a simple way to track the two distinct genomes, you can’t find a better way to disturb people. If it had to be done with humans, another marker should have been used.

  2. There are no laws yet for this, what will the gov’t do? Have it come to term, but prevent it from marrying itself?

  3. Well, no, it can’t marry itself just yet…

    But thanks to Justice Kennedy in last week’s Lawrence decision, we can tell it to go f*** itself.

  4. Perhaps it can marry Michael Jackson?

  5. Mixed male and female cells in a single human already occurs in nature.

    See chimera hybrid mosaic
    http://users.rcn.com/jkimball.ma.ultranet/BiologyPages/M/Mosaics.html

    Modern medical technology may create more chimera. Female childern do receive bone marrow transplants from male relatives. Male cells derived from those transplants have been discovered in female brain tissue. (This was the first proof that bone marrow stem cells could become nerve cells in a human.)

    My guess is that the researchers want to cure a genetic disease by injecting modified stem cells. They need to discover the factors that control where the stem cells take residence. In an animal experiment a special gene for a florescent protein might be incorporated. The cells derived from the injected stem cells could then be tracked as the animal matures. Likely ethical considerations stopped these researchers from genetically modifying a human stem cell for this purpose. Since fraternal twins already exchange stem cells as their blood is mixed in a shared placenta, the reseachers likely felt they were breaking no ethical taboos. They could track the derived cells by the presence of a Y chromosome without genetically modifying a human cell.

    My own opinion is that this type of research on humans is premature. Much more animal research into the basic science is needed. I do sympathize with researchers who want to save children dying now rather than wait decades until the biology is fully understood.

  6. So it will know how to drive a car properly AND stop and ask for directions. I think we have a winner!

  7. Sharp Ponies: OR it will be both unable to drive AND refuse to stop and ask for directions. Just pray it doesn’t get both testosterone rage and PMS, or we’re all doomed! Doomed I tell you!

  8. This research seems to be at the service of fertility treatments so, no matter what we think of the sci-fi aspects, we should cheer for scientist working to end the baby shortage crisis.

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