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Stem Cell DialoguesA Philosophical and Scientific Inquiry Into Medical Frontiers$
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Sheldon Krimsky

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780231167482

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231167482.001.0001

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Human-Animal Chimeras and Hybrids

Human-Animal Chimeras and Hybrids

(p.119) Dialogue 18 Human-Animal Chimeras and Hybrids
Stem Cell Dialogues

Sheldon Krimsky

Columbia University Press

This dialogue presents a fictional account of a public symposium where the participants explore the ethics of creating human-animal chimeras and hybrids involving the use of stem cells for research and therapeutic purposes. Chimeras can be artificially produced in research by transplanting embryonic cells from one organism onto the embryo of another, as in injecting mouse stem cells into mouse blastocysts. There has been great interest among developmental biologists in transplanting human stem cells into the embryos of animals. In stem cell research, human-to-animal chimera experiments typically involve the transfer of multipotent or pluripotent human stem cells into animals in embryonic, fetal, or postnatal stages of development to study stem cell behavior. Here symposium participants discuss some of the reasons for moving human genes into the genomes of other species; commercial applications of chimeras; public opinion on interspecies gene and cell transfer; the distinction between human-animal hybrids and human-animal chimeras; blanket prohibition of transferring human genes into animals; and the moral boundary for managing experiments involving human-animal chimeras.

Keywords:   ethics, human-animal chimeras, stem cells, stem cell research, experiments, human genes, genomes, cell transfer, human-animal hybrids, animals

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