Chinese Researchers Clone Human/Rabbit Hybrids

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by dianetavegia, Aug 26, 2003.

  1. dianetavegia

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    Chinese Researchers Clone Human/Rabbit Hybrids

    Researchers in China have combined DNA from both humans and rabbits to create hybrid embryos. The Washington Post reports that 400 hybrids were
    made "by fusing human skin cells with rabbit eggs." One hundred of them survived to the "blastocyst" stage, the point at which they were killed for their embryonic stem cells.

    The importance of the experiments in China is they attempt to answer what can be called the egg problem. Part of the problem with attempting to use human clones to cure diseases is that hundreds of millions of human eggs would be needed to try to cure and then treat even a single disease. Where will all the eggs come from? Developing world policy makers fear that
    women from poor countries will be the targets of a massive egg harvests, a process that is both painful and dangerous to the woman. They also fear
    that most of the benefits of the experiments would redound to the rich countries. The Chinese experiments answered the egg problem by using human skin cells inserted into the eggs of rabbits.

    It is unusual that no complaints have yet been heard about these new Chinese experiments from the European Union. It is the EU that has
    persistently campaigned against and even banned genetic manipulations that combine different plant species. The EU remains unalterably opposed to any and all genetically modified food, even those that clearly benefit mankind. The EU, for instance, is opposed to a kind of genetically
    manipulated drought resistant rice that also prevents large-scale blindness in Africa. Yet, EU policy makers so far remain silent on cross-species manipulation of mammals.

    At the same time that the Chinese reported on their human/rabbit experiment, researchers at the University of Minnesota have reported on
    important new advances in adult stem cell research. Adult stem cells are non-controversial because they are derived in non-lethal ways, in this case from bone marrow. The Minnesota researchers have shown that adult stem cells taken from mice can be made to differentiate into cells similar to those of the midbrain and therefore might be successful in treating
    diseases, like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's.

    As the scientific experiments on cloning and stem cells continue, policy makers continue to debate. The German Parliament has called for a comprehensive ban on all forms of human cloning, yet its executive branch is leading the charge at the UN to allow for human experimental cloning.
    Though a ban on human cloning languishes in the US Senate, the Bush Administration is leading the fight in the UN for a comprehensive ban. The
    UN debate on a comprehensive ban on human cloning will resume in the next few weeks.

    Copyright - Culture of Life Foundation and Institute. Permission granted for unlimited use. Credit required.

    Culture of Life Foundation and Institute
    1413 K Street, NW, Suite 1000
    Washington DC 20005
    Phone: (202) 289-2500
    Fax: (202) 289-2502
    E-mail: [email protected]
  2. Gina B

    Gina B
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    Dec 30, 2000
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