The birth of half-human, half-animal chimeras

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The birth of half-human, half-animal chimeras

It is 120 years since Wells first published his novel the Island of Dr Moreau, and to read some recent headlines you would think that we are veering dangerously close to his dystopic vision. “Frankenstein scientists developing part-human part-animal chimera,” exclaimed the UK’s Daily Mirror in May 2016. “Science wants to break down the fence between man and beast,” the Washington Times declared two months later, fearing that sentient animals would soon be unleashed on the world. The hope is to implant human stem cells in an animal embryo so that it will grow specific human organs. The approach could, in theory, provide a ready-made replacement for a diseased heart or liver – eliminating the wait for a human donor and reducing the risk of organ rejection. Read More