A new paper details the creation of a human/pig chimera.
The goal of the research program is to generate pigs and cows who would become, essentially, living containers for human organs.
The possibilities have many researchers giddy with excitement. But they also raise serious ethical dilemmas regarding the moral status of these part-human animals.
Proposed changes by the NIH to its research guidelines regarding human-nonhuman chimeras will result in things like pigs being implanted with human stem cells to create hearts, livers, pancreases and kidneys to then “harvest” and place in human beings.
The pigs will become, essentially, living growth chambers for human organs.
A soft drink commercial that features a strange chimeric creature called the PuppyMonkeyBaby (a beast that combines human baby legs, a monkey body and a pug dog’s head) premiered during Super Bowl 50. The weird animal is supposed to represent the “awesome” combo of Mountain Dew, juice and caffeine, but many people call it “creepy “, “scary” and just downright “disturbing “. The idea of a dog-monkey-baby makes for one horrifying creation.
But chimeras aren’t just the stuff of soft drink advertisers; they’re being produced in laboratories around the world. And for these animals, it’s a life of confinement, exploitation and invasive procedures that invariably ends in death.