Sunday, August 28, 2005

Teenage Mutant Ninja HUMANS?

A Chimera (ki-mer-a) is a mythological creature with a lion's head, a goat's body, a serpent tail, and wings. Until recently, chimeras were fictional characters much like the Oracle or the half man-half horse Centaur. Now, science is creating a whole new breed of chimeras.

This is not to be confused with the cross-breeding that occur "naturally," or at least under the guidance of Husbandry Technicians (a.k.a. farmers that help animals 'do it'). Sure, there are Ligers (half lion-half tiger), Zonkeys (half zebra-half donkey), and my favorite - the Wolphin (whale-dolphin). These creatures are hybrids, and these hybrid offspring were created by more natural means. Although, hybrids themselves are sterile.

And this isn't like the case of Oliver that made worldwide news as being some sort of Humanzee. This chimp looked and acted human. He even walked upright ALL THE TIME. Chimps can indeed walk upright, but only for a few yards. He mixed drinks, used the toilet, and washed his hands. The normal chimps stayed away from him, which was just fine with Oliver since he preferred human socialization anyway.

We're talking about scientists taking human stem cells and injecting them into animals.

Sounds creepy, doesn't it?

In the last year or two, these are just a few samples of these new lab-borne chimeras:

In China, they were able to fuse HUMAN cells with rabbit eggs, which grew into embryos and were destroyed.
In Minnesota, they created pigs that have HUMAN blood running through their bodies.
In Nevada, scientists created sheep with HUMAN livers and hearts.
And in California, they injected HUMAN brain cells into the brains of mice.

Of Mice and Men indeed!

Why would scientists do this? Many reasons. They would be able to test medicines on animals with more accurate measurements on how it would work for humans. For example, a mouse with human immune systems could be used to test drugs trying to combat AIDS. They could learn more about how brain cells form in the hopes of curing Parkinsons. Human organs could be harvested from these chimeras in order to save human lives.

The National Academy of Sciences has already made known it's recommendations concerning chimeras. Canada has already banned their creation. Scientists are treading carefully, but there are some inherent risks with what they're doing.

In California's Silicon Valley, they've already got mice running around with 1% human brain cells in their brains. Eventually, they want to create mice with 100% human brain cells! They would still have mice brains but made up of human brain cells.

Ok, the thought makes me shiver.

Now imagine this...what if they successfully create mice embryos with human brain cells and the human cells organize inside of these creatures? What if the human cells attach and migrate to other parts of the mice's bodies like their reproductive systems. Then...two of these human brain mice mate? Oh my...the end result would be...



sirensong72 said...

My stepdad's family has been experimenting with cross-breeding for several generations...

Oh wait, that's INBREEDING. Never mind.

Jillian said...

LOL Siren!!!

Now come off it ha ha -- Ahhh another good post by the great Phoenix (bows). ;-)

Andrew said...

ha, ha, ha. The Phoenix does it again!

The Phoenix said...


That's a whole other mutation.

The Phoenix said...

Thanks Jillian and Andrew for the encouragement.
I'll just keep plugging away.

Just Jack said...

I know they've used certain animal parts to replace human parts. Like heart valves or something. Maybe a liver? But these experiments are completely in a new ballpark...sounds pretty messed up.

The Phoenix said...

Well Jack,

I believe the intentions have merit. Finding a cure for deadly diseases and helping those who need new organs are definately noble causes.
I'm still on the fence as far as the means are concerned. It just creeps me out.

Jim said...

mice with human brains, not to worry, they will run red lights and become extinct --

siren -- I think I dated your stepdad's sister, who was also his cousin, and his great niece -- I heard she married Nelson, both of them

DLAK said...

I am all for it. Lets go nuts, maybe we can invent a women with a fucking clue.

Jennifer said...

First it will be animals, then humans.


The Phoenix said...

Jim, with the mice - we could end up with Pinky and the Brain...they might "rule the world."

dlak, you're not bitter...are you?

Jennifer, I'm sure there are people that might want to have maybe a fin growing out of their backs, or maybe a bear claw. I'd like eagle eyes.

WildBil2Me said...

Anyone remember the mouse with the human ear growing on its back?

I agree, its creepy stuff.

Anna said...

Love the inbreeding stuff...then again, I grew up in the Ozarks! :)

Did you know there is a human type of chimera that occurs naturally? Some people have completely separate DNA in their hair or reproductive cells, which could mean that they might not be convicted of a crime because of DNA or that their child might not share any DNA with a mother despite hospital records showing she gave birth to the child. It's fascinating!

The Phoenix said...

wildbil, actually it was a rat that scientists attached an ear to. The ear didn't have any function at all, except to really gross people out.
I have a picture, and I decided not to post it since sirensong said it would make her urp.

The Phoenix said...


I was thinking about doing a part 2 to this post about that...naturally occuring chimeras. This was also the subject of a Steven King novel, "The Dark Half." What if a woman, when she was a fetus, absorbed her twin? The twin's cells would be inside the woman. And then this woman would give birth to a child. If given a blood test, the woman might not be shown to be the biological mother.
Fascinating for sure!

Jamie Dawn said...

Very interesting blog!
I saw a special on TV about two women who are chimeras.
They both gave birth to children who, when their DNA was tested, showed they could not be their children. These chimera women had different DNA in different parts of their bodies. It was very strange, but it was a great program.
I LOVE Stuart Little!

The Phoenix said...

Thanks jamie dawn,

Michael J. Fox plays does the voice of Stuart Little. AND he's a big advocate of stem cell research and such in order to find a cure from Parkinson's...coincidence?????

Laura:) said...

Haha, Phoenix, I did think about Pinky and the Brain. I loved that show.

I don't know it's scary to think that mice might have the brains of humans. Does having the brains mean that you will also have the same emotions? I wonder how that works.

Parkinsons said...

Hi, appreciated your mentioning Parkinsons Disease . I'm actually searching like crazy for information about Parkinsons Disease. My aunt had it and I understand there is a genetic connection. Very scary, but hoping for the best .

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