HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Chimeras: The Next New Thing?

Tuesday's Boston Globe had a valuable article on the subject of "chimeras -- animals whose bodies are a mosaic, with their own cells intermixed with those of another animal -- to model diseases, test drugs on live human cells, and harvest organs for transplant" -- yet another context in which we can debate what exactly we mean by the term "human."  One of the March 4 sessions of the President's Commission on Bioethics was devoted to this subject.  As the Globe article notes, the U.S. Patent Office turned down an application for a patent on a "humanzee," at the same time calling on Congress for guidance.  The Nov./Dec. 2002 issue of Legal Affairs ran a debate on the chimera-patent question.  [tm]

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