Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human

“Scientists have created the world’s first human-sheep chimera - which has the body of a sheep and half-human organs.

The sheep have 15 percent human cells and 85 percent animal cells - and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer.

Professor Esmail Zanjani, of the University of Nevada, has spent seven years and £5million perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep’s foetus

But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God, with the possibility of silent viruses, which are harmless in animals, being introduced into the human race.

Dr Patrick Dixon, an international lecturer on biological trends, warned: “Many silent viruses could create a biological nightmare in humans. Mutant animal viruses are a real threat, as we have seen with HIV.”

If this story is true…I’m not sure if I like where this is going…the opening of a “Pandora’s box” perhaps…

I understand the “goal” is having organs to harvest for the purpose of prolonging human life, but something about this seems warped.

This is something that is going to happen regardless of whether it seems moral or not (just like globalisation). The reason is the wealthy will want to have ways to prolong their lives. Only they will be able to afford such organ harvesting. The rest of us will just die when out time comes. Besides, aren’t we already sheeple in their eyes?

Remember the movie The Island (2005) with Ewan McGregor…it’s a good movie.

Hmmm… a number of points can be made here.

a) Popular newspaper reporting of scientific issues is only the start of the information trail for those in the pursuit of balanced argument. This story is reported in the ‘Mail On Sunday’ (for international readers this is regarded as a heavily right-wing newspaper in the UK). The publication has a very conservative outlook (with both a small ‘c’ and large ‘C’); especially with an emphasis on Christian values.

b) The article refers to a forthcoming television program on Channel 4; a UK network whose content is currently under severe criticism following the Big Brother ‘racism’ fiasco amongst other similarly desperate televisual delights. Let’s see how much science and how much speculation is involved with this particular broadcast…

c) Endogenous animal retroviruses have been identified, in addition to other persistent, well-defined, and very real zoonotic animal pathogens such as toxoplasma, which are a definite practical threat. Work on a separate timeline is under way to assess their significance in a transplantation setting. Believe me: the medical scientific community is taking their potential very seriously.

d) If we accept breeding, genetic selection, rearing and killing animals for food, we could ask ourselves what is the moral difference between that and rearing them to use their viable organs? We already accept using viable human organs for transplantation, and in many more cases accept stem cell transplantation from close relatives that form human chimeras. I’m afraid most of these theoretical counter-arguments are already in the mainstream of transplantation medicine.

e) There’s nothing very expensive about this animal process that would necessarily restrict it to the wealthy. Talk of “herds” of tissue-compatible animals seems nonsensical.


A, B:
The reason why I started my commentary as “If this story is true”.


Arguments / counter-arguments help balance two sides to a radical coin.

If it came to the point of having genetically compatible organs from animals that can be transplanted in humans…it would be extremely expensive to have the procedure done. Most medical procedures are insanely expensive now.

A, B: Some bits will be true; others false. Let’s see what the proportion is. :wink:

C: :flower:

D: :flower:

E: It isn’t just the basic transplant operation that matters, but the longer-term cost in initial and subsequent hospital stay, plus follow-up and treatment of rejection episodes… which are all dependent on the likelihood of rejection. This should be lower with more closely matched organs. The whole point is that this initiative could significantly lower the overall healthcare costs, and of course, improve the quality of life.

The way I see it … NZedders better start using rubbers at their recreation centre … all those nasty diseases that their fellow buggers have, can now be contracted and carried by the sheep :stuck_out_tongue:

Seen it , been there , talked to that.Its my motherinlaw…