Animal-Human Hybrids

Essay by rcamgamesCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2005

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Ancient Greek mythology referred to beings that were part human and part animal. Most people think of these creatures as imaginary. The line between fact and fantasy is becoming increasingly grey as modern scientists test the moral boundaries of genetic engineering and fuse together animal-human-hybrids.

At the Shanghai Second Medical University in China embryos were formed using human cells fused with rabbit eggs. The embryos were destroyed soon after there conception and their stem cells were collected. Stem cells can be used to grow almost any bodily tissue and offers great scientific potential for the development of medical science as a whole.

A unique issue has arisen with the creation of these new creatures... That is a moral concern of whether it's an acceptable practice to create hybrids in the first place. One of the key concerns is in determining the rights of the being. Many scientists are concerned that the creatures with human-likeness will be put into dangerous situations in which we would not want to put ourselves into.

Another potential issue comes from an example situation in which a mouse has part of a human brain and human cell. The question is does that mouse then have a human soul?

The concept of mixing two or more individuals into one body is not entirely unnatural. In fact twins are naturally conceived in such a fashion.

As far as hybrids go there are many living people who can already be considered hybrids, although they were not born this way. Many of them received heart valve transplants from pigs and cows. For year scientists have been adding human genes to farm animals in order for the animal to generate insulin for use in medications. With the stem cells it is possible to actually grow replacement body parts inside of living...