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Scientists Create A Half Man Half Sheep


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Well they created a sheep that is 15% human

 

sheep240307_486x386.jpg

 

27th March 2007

By CLAUDIA JOSEPH

http://www.mailonsunday.co.uk/pages/live/a...mp;in_a_source=

 

Scientists have created the world's first human-sheep chimera - which has the body of a sheep and half-human organs.

 

The sheep have 15 per cent human cells and 85 per cent animal cells - and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer.

 

Professor Esmail Zanjani, of the University of Nevada, has spent seven years and £5million perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep's foetus.

 

He has already created a sheep liver which has a large proportion of human cells and eventually hopes to precisely match a sheep to a transplant patient, using their own stem cells to create their own flock of sheep.

 

The process would involve extracting stem cells from the donor's bone marrow and injecting them into the peritoneum of a sheep's foetus. When the lamb is born, two months later, it would have a liver, heart, lungs and brain that are partly human and available for transplant.

 

"We would take a couple of ounces of bone marrow cells from the patient,' said Prof Zanjani, whose work is highlighted in a Channel 4 programme tomorrow.

 

"We would isolate the stem cells from them, inject them into the peritoneum of these animals and then these cells would get distributed throughout the metabolic system into the circulatory system of all the organs in the body. The two ounces of stem cell or bone marrow cell we get would provide enough stem cells to do about ten foetuses. So you don't just have one organ for transplant purposes, you have many available in case the first one fails."

 

At present 7,168 patients are waiting for an organ transplant in Britain alone, and two thirds of them are expected to die before an organ becomes available.

 

Scientists at King's College, London, and the North East Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle have now applied to the HFEA, the Government's fertility watchdog, for permission to start work on the chimeras.

 

But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God, with the possibility of silent viruses, which are harmless in animals, being introduced into the human race.

 

Dr Patrick Dixon, an international lecturer on biological trends, warned: "Many silent viruses could create a biological nightmare in humans. Mutant animal viruses are a real threat, as we have seen with HIV."

 

Animal rights activists fear that if the cells get mixed together, they could end up with cellular fusion, creating a hybrid which would have the features and characteristics of both man and sheep. But Prof Zanjani said: "Transplanting the cells into foetal sheep at this early stage does not result in fusion at all."

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Bizzare!

 

Is this for real? Last time I checked, things like this were labeled impossible. :twitch:

 

I'd like to remind you of what Arthur C. Clarke once said

 

When an elderly and respected scientist says something is 'possible', he is almost certainly correct. When the same elderly and respected scientist says something is 'impossible', he is almost certainly wrong

 

They've been tinkering with this sort of thing in various mammals for some little time (late 1970s IIRC) , mostly working on the integument of organs in pigs to spoof the immune system of the recipient of the organ into thinking it's got a human organ and not one of a different mammal entirely!

 

The only thing that seriously surprised me in the above was that they managed it with a sheep, rather than a pig.

 

One thing is for certain, we are bloody clever monkeys.

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OH BOY....Brave new world...here we come...... :scratch:

 

With due respect... it's less Huxley and more H.G. Wells (Doctor Moreau's health resort and spa was what sprang to my mind...)

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I was under the impression they were doing some intensive research to do this in pigs. I know scientists have been experimenting with sheep, but dolly is a lot different than organ transplants O.o

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But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God, with the possibility of silent viruses, which are harmless in animals, being introduced into the human race.

 

Silent viruses are a legitimate concern and certainly something that needs to be watched for and protected against. Why am I not surprised, however, at the accusations of "playing God?"

 

Do so many people truly not realize if it weren't for scientists "playing God" for the past several hundred years, we'd still be "curing" illnesses with magic charms and prayer?

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My spin on Woodsmoke: since miracles and magic is pretty much the same thing, wouldn't healing through charms and prayer be the real way of trying to play god? It's like stepping on his turf. While scientific method is just using what nature gives, i.e. what "god" created, and hence not playing god, but just playing with the toys "god" gave us!?

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Heh, well put. I'm going to have to bring that up at the next opportunity in philosophy or poli. sci.

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Be very very careful about things from the daily mail. By that I mean if you ever see someone reading it then burn it and give them enough alcohol so that they'll forget what they may have already read!

 

I don't know if the story's true, but its a good policy to adopt for any daily mail type story.

 

Also, in the first paragraph the journalist say the sheepman evolved which it most certainly did not. She clearly has no idea about the basics of biology.

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I was under the impression they were doing some intensive research to do this in pigs. I know scientists have been experimenting with sheep, but dolly is a lot different than organ transplants O.o

 

Sheep have a simpler genome than Pigs, although I believe pigs have been cloned now.

 

I seem to recall in SciAm in the mid 90s saying that they'd managed to get immunologically 'agnostic' livers... but it's like a lot of stuff in SciAm... it gets reported and you NEVER hear of it again

 

As to the Daily Mail... like most media outlets it seems to have science correspondents who have a cousin who got a Physics A-level.

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Baaah, just like Varokhar said, we've just created more Christians, baaah...

 

Maybe we should do some gene-splicing with wolfs instead, so we get some atheists wolfs to eat those lambs? Or foxes, then we really can say, "yes, there are atheists in foxholes."

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Island of Dr. Moreau, here we come. And if the sheep gain intelligence, will the Christians try to convert them or just use them as mascots?

 

Seriously, I have to wonder...what's next? Hybrids of animals that look like things out of mythology?

 

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for experimentation...but not if it gets out of control.

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This thing has more human cells than a human fetus. If we kill it, is that worse than abortion or murder?

 

No, this wool-y Sheep would be resurrected on the third day by Baaaaahl, and it would be the ultimate sacrifice for us humans, and if we believe in this new Jeeeeehheeesus, we will be cleansed from skin. ... and we would make a really nice and comfortable pillow too.

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This thing has more human cells than a human fetus. If we kill it, is that worse than abortion or murder?

 

No, this wool-y Sheep would be resurrected on the third day by Baaaaahl, and it would be the ultimate sacrifice for us humans, and if we believe in this new Jeeeeehheeesus, we will be cleansed from skin. ... and we would make a really nice and comfortable pillow too.

 

Well, just don't let this thing run around horny shepherds, they don't need anymore encouragement.

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