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  #1    
Old June 20th, 2013, 05:54 PM
Kanzler
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http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...in-a-year.html

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A panel of scientists and legal experts appointed by the government has drawn up a recommendation that will form the basis of new guidelines for Japan's world-leading embryonic research.

There is widespread support in Japan for research that has raised red flags in other countries. Scientists plan to introduce a human stem cell into the embryo of an animal – most likely a pig – to create what is termed a "chimeric embryo" that can be implanted into an animal's womb.

That will then grow into a perfect human organ, a kidney or even a heart, as the host animal matures.

When the adult creature is slaughtered, the organ will then be harvested and transplanted into a human with a malfunctioning organ.

"This recommendation is a very important step forward and one that has taken us three years to achieve," Professor Hiromitsu Nakauchi, head of the centre for stem cell biology and regenerative medicine at the University of Tokyo, told The Daily Telegraph.

Prof Nakauchi's team have already succeeded in injecting stem cells from rats into the embryos of mice that had been genetically altered.

"We can apply the same principles to human stem cells and pigs, although the guidelines have not permitted us to do this yet," he said.

At present, the Japanese guidelines permit scientists to develop chimeric embryos in laboratory conditions for a maximum of 14 days, but the next stage in the process – the embryos being implanted into an animal's womb – is prohibited.

As soon as government officials agree on the details of the revised guidelines – a process that is expected to take 12 months – Prof Nakauchi believes the first pig carrying a human organ can be produced "quite quickly, because the technique has been established already."

The scientists plan to initially breed a pig with a human pancreas as it is a relatively easy organ to create, Prof. Nakauchi said, and perfecting the technique will bring relief to millions of people with diabetes.

Creating kidneys and a human heart will be far more complicated, he said, but are feasible. He suggested that practical use for the organs may be as little as five years away.

Eventually, he hopes to be able to have numerous human organs within each donor animal that can be harvested all at the same time.
Looks like it's finally happening, folks. This issue is multifaceted and I will try to bring a number of themes to light:

1) What do you think about creating a human-animal chimera? Is this breaking the "barriers" of nature? Or is the only barrier what human ingenuity cannot accomplish?

2) I don't think this technique will be extended to humans, for obvious reasons. I can put that previous statement this way: these animals are being used quite simply because they are animals. Is this a step up from what we're used to in terms of using animals as resources? Would it make a difference if you harvested both the meat and the organs? Are animals more than things and are they being commodified too far? Does the need for organ transplants outweigh the ethics of using animals to harvest organs?

3) The United States is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world - much of the high tech innovation going on still occurs there. This is no doubt on the cutting edge of the life sciences. Do you think such advances would be possible in the United States? Do the current political and social climate inhibit scientific development from occurring? If so, is this something worth changing?

I remember the thread about duck-chicken chimeras, and this is along the same vein, but at the same time quite different. Happy discussing!
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Last edited by Kanzler; June 20th, 2013 at 05:59 PM.
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  #2    
Old June 20th, 2013, 06:27 PM
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As long as they can one day prove they can keep it under controls, I'm fine with it.

But if one day one of those "Jurassic Park" moments happen, yeah no more GM for me.
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  #3    
Old June 20th, 2013, 06:33 PM
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Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
the only barrier is what human ingenuity cannot accomplish
This sums it pretty well if you ask me, but it should not be made with all animals, only with animals that are bred for this specific purpose and it should not mess with the animals that are in the wild.

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Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
2) I don't think this technique will be extended to humans, for obvious reasons. I can put that previous statement this way: these animals are being used quite simply because they are animals. Is this a step up from what we're used to in terms of using animals as resources? Would it make a difference if you harvested both the meat and the organs? Are animals more than things and are they being commodified too far? Does the need for organ transplants outweigh the ethics of using animals to harvest organs?
Like I said before, I think that as long as the animals used to harvest organs are not wild animals and they were bred just for the purpose, even tho animals are still alive and one should respect nature and whatevs, I'm sure you don't want to die and I'm sure you'd rather have your kid get one of these organs instead of waiting until another human dies in order to keep your kid, let's face it.


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Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
3) The United States is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world - much of the high tech innovation going on still occurs there. This is no doubt on the cutting edge of the life sciences. Do you think such advances would be possible in the United States? Do the current political and social climate inhibit scientific development from occurring? If so, is this something worth changing?
I can totally see this being legal and normal in more than a few states, it just needs time.
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  #4    
Old July 19th, 2013, 11:33 AM
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I personally find this all fascinating. What would really be great is if we could derive the organs from the patients own genetic material, thus eliminating any chance of rejection by the body.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/s...in-a-year.html



Looks like it's finally happening, folks. This issue is multifaceted and I will try to bring a number of themes to light:

1) What do you think about creating a human-animal chimera? Is this breaking the "barriers" of nature? Or is the only barrier what human ingenuity cannot accomplish?

2) I don't think this technique will be extended to humans, for obvious reasons. I can put that previous statement this way: these animals are being used quite simply because they are animals. Is this a step up from what we're used to in terms of using animals as resources? Would it make a difference if you harvested both the meat and the organs? Are animals more than things and are they being commodified too far? Does the need for organ transplants outweigh the ethics of using animals to harvest organs?

3) The United States is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world - much of the high tech innovation going on still occurs there. This is no doubt on the cutting edge of the life sciences. Do you think such advances would be possible in the United States? Do the current political and social climate inhibit scientific development from occurring? If so, is this something worth changing?

I remember the thread about duck-chicken chimeras, and this is along the same vein, but at the same time quite different. Happy discussing!
Considering my lenient moral in science...
1. I say: Go for it dammit! I find these things always fun to study. (Although I like biomechanics more)
2. Hey if a pig can give a person a new heart I say go for it. And I think this technique WILL be extended to humans. But not in legal places o course.
3. Bah... It could but it wont. sadly...
EDIT: I meant Biomechatronics. not biomechanics.
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  #6    
Old July 19th, 2013, 12:24 PM
Kanzler
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To clarify a little, and maybe add some moral ambiguity: The pig here is effectively the vessel in order to grow the organ. Yunno in sci-fi when clones are grown from a tube? The pig's the tube. Is it similar to slaughtering an animal for meat?
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  #7    
Old July 19th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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I honestly really hate the idea of animals being used to grow human organs. They'll just grow the organs and then be killed, surely there is a better, more humane way.
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  #8    
Old July 19th, 2013, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
To clarify a little, and maybe add some moral ambiguity: The pig here is effectively the vessel in order to grow the organ. Yunno in sci-fi when clones are grown from a tube? The pig's the tube. Is it similar to slaughtering an animal for meat?
I read it I understood it. I say go for it. I see no problem with the way they would produce these organs. And it kinda is similar. Killing animal in order of obtaining something valuable inside it for profit.
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Old July 19th, 2013, 06:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlahISuck View Post
1) What do you think about creating a human-animal chimera? Is this breaking the "barriers" of nature? Or is the only barrier what human ingenuity cannot accomplish?
"Breaking the barriers of nature?" Who cares? This can help people. And it doesn't hurt anyone. I can understand if you (speaking generally, not at OP) have some sort of problem with it and you don't want to reap the benefits, but that's your problem and you should deal with it on your own terms, not try to make it into law that affects everyone.

Quote:
2) I don't think this technique will be extended to humans, for obvious reasons. I can put that previous statement this way: these animals are being used quite simply because they are animals. Is this a step up from what we're used to in terms of using animals as resources? Would it make a difference if you harvested both the meat and the organs? Are animals more than things and are they being commodified too far? Does the need for organ transplants outweigh the ethics of using animals to harvest organs?
It's no different than using animals as food. I don't see any problem with it. Animals lack the mental capabilities that make us special as a species (except maybe dolphins, I've heard they're about as intelligent as early humans were). I don't think we should go out of our way to harm them and I don't think we should do anything that would hurt us in the long run environmentally, but using them as a means to save people is perfectly fine with me.

Quote:
3) The United States is one of the most technologically advanced countries in the world - much of the high tech innovation going on still occurs there. This is no doubt on the cutting edge of the life sciences. Do you think such advances would be possible in the United States? Do the current political and social climate inhibit scientific development from occurring? If so, is this something worth changing?
I don't know. However, if there is such a barrier to scientific progress, it should be removed. This is a potentially life-saving advancement in science with zero human cost. Again, if a patient has an ethical problem with it, they should absolutely have the right to refuse organs from such a procedure, but the rest of us should be free to have access to such things.
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