Chimera : A tail of mice and men

Human-animal hybrids are now a reality (and have been for some years now).

Mutants are no longer the subject of science fiction, they are now flesh and blood beings.

For example:

In China, human-monkey chimeras have been designed and born. (Planet of the Apes, anyone?)

Japan has approved human-rat hybrid trials.  (Ratman is somehow less exiting than Spiderman.)

And a human-pig hybrid embryo grew to 4 weeks old back in 2017. (Spiderpig maybe?)

Most of these hybrids have been created with the intention of growing human transplant organs for terminally ill patients.

Now come the questions on what the future will hold for human-animal hybrid species?

Will sharing our DNA with animals mean that we revaluate the ethics of how we treat (and eat) our animal cousins?

What (human?) rights should part-human chimeras have?

What are the ethics of creating slave species / living research projects?

Is it morally justifiable to create animals with the express intention of harvesting their organs?

What is the long-term future for the intelligent design of entire new hybrid species? – Could such hybrids ever reproduce and evolve on their own some day in the distant future?

In short: Should we push the boundaries of biology and ethics just because we can?

And, conversely, is being uncomfortable with such ideas justification enough to stop the progress of potentially breakthrough medical science?


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