Sunday, July 24, 2011
Hybrid Animal-Human Experiments Face Ethical Concern
Scientific advantages continue to push the limit on experiment, always trying to find the best model. In Britain, the law forbids any experiments involving combining human cells into the great ape family. But alternatively, in China, there have been cases of combining human stem cells with goats. Currently, American scientists are considering putting human brain cells into mice.
Human stem cell research is already a controversial issue, so the idea of creating hybrid animal-human models set off even more alarms. There are many risks involved and no guarantee for success either.
In Martin Bobrow’s report to the government ministers, he urges the national body of experts to install regulations on animal research, more specifically focusing on the implantation of human brain cells into other animals. This research suggests a heavy ethical dilemma that would spark great concern from the public on this type of experimentation.
Scientists want to be able to use these hybrid animal-human models because they hope it will provide more understanding to the human body, nature, and help the fight against disease.
The focus of the use of these semi-human animal models is to improve human health, but it is important to recognize the potential limitations and consequences of such a model. Scientists and government regulators need to come together to find a way to regulate the use of animal-human hybrids in science, while considering the public safety.