July 27, 2011
Scientists have hoped for decades that developments in genetic research could lead to biotech applications. Now, human-animal hybrids and transgenic clones are paving the way for organ harvesting and artificially-created human life. But what are the ethics behind this new technology? A biotech culture of ‘pharming’ has also emerged where cloned animals with inserted cross-species genes are used to produce everything from a GMO-version of human-like bovine milk, to pharmaceutical drugs, to spider-silk bred in goats and glow-in-the-dark puppies, kittens and mice made translucent by the application of jellyfish genes.
Are there any safeguards or ethics in place to slow abuses of this emerging technology? And how long has science been developing cloning technology? Is it longer than we have been led to believe?
The technology promises to aid infertile couples even as global fertility plummets. It gives hope for those in need of organ transplants. It gives the potential for efficient industrial production of synthesized drugs and enhanced food products. But is it safe? Who is watching? And have we unleashed Pandora’s Box?
Control over the Transgenic human-animal hybrid pose lucrative possibilities for new monopolies based on gene-patents for life, but it also threatens the integrity of the genetic code of life. GMO crops like soy have caused infertility and cancer in lab mice, much of which did not show expression until the second or third generation. If these devastating “side effects” show up in humans, it could take generations to understand or mitigate. Scientists from Purdue University concluded more than a decade ago that GM Salmon could cause the extinction of wild salmon populations within just 40 generations, yet this Frankenfish is poised to enter the global market place and your dinner table.
LIFE Magazine – Control of Life: Audacious Experiments Promise Decades of Added Life, Superbabies with Improved Minds and Bodies and Even a Kind of Immortality (September 10, 1965)
150 human animal hybrids grown in UK labs: Embryos have been produced secretively for the past three years
We have created human-animal embryos already, say British team (April 2, 2008)
Human-rabbit clone announced and no noses twitch
PHARMING FOR FARMACEUTICALS
Pigs could grow human organs in stem cell breakthrough which could solve organ shortage
Scientists Prepare To Clone a Human; Experiment Aims to Help Infertile Couples
Artificial liver ‘could be grown’
GM goat spins web based future