How to breed a minotaur, step one.
April 1, 2008 12:38 PM Subscribe
Researchers at Newcastle University have created a human-cow hybrid embryo.
posted by WalterMitty (59 comments total)
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While previous posts on MetaFilter have addressed successful monkey cloning
and the first kid to have three parents,
researchers at Newcastle University have successfully created human-cow hybrid embryos as a source of stem cells for research.
The controversy has been brewing for several years in the UK, where legislation and public opinion have weighed in for and against hybrid embryos. While the Catholic Church has opined that these experiments are "of Frankenstein proportion
", scientists claim that this research will help them gain insights into diseases
including cancer and Parkinson's Disease, as well as overcoming a shortage of available human eggs.
The process used - the injection of skin cell-derived human DNA into a cow ovary - is different from what is termed a "full hybrid", which involves the fusion of sperm and egg, which is decidedly illegal.
Despite the Church's distaste for embryos, its distaste for abortion continues to be even stronger
. The scientists, OTOH, promise that any and all such embryos are destroyed within 14 days of creation, and that these embryos will never be allowed to come to term.
Q&As on hybrid embryos.
Could this be the first step to creating a minotaur
or a chimera
? Perhaps the debate regarding a minotaur versus a centaur
can finally be resolved.