Science & Technology

The Attack on Rabbit-Human (and Other) Chimeras Goes International


Last year prospective GOP presidential candidate, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) proposed legislation banning the production of embryos made by combining animal eggs and human genes (chimeras). Why? Because the senator believes that experiments using chimeric animals and embryos threaten our "respect for human dignity and the integrity of the human species." President Bush also condemned such experiments in his 2006 State of the Union speech and urged that they be banned.

With all due respect, the senator and the president are speaking complete and utter nonsense, as I explain here.

Now it turns out that efforts to outlaw this research have jumped the pond. According to the Times (London), a white paper issued by Britain's Department of Health

bowed to pressure from religious groups for an all-out ban. The technique, which produces embryos that are 99.5 per cent human, aims to address the shortage of human eggs for stem-cell research.

But British researchers are pushing back. Whole Times article here.