HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Monday, March 26, 2007

Yikes - Part-Sheep and Part-Human

CBS news (link with video) is reporting on a new animal: 

A bio-ethical debate is raging at a Nevada university, where scientists have created the world's first sheep with half-human organs.

University of Nevada Professor Esmail Zanjani has spent seven years perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into sheep fetuses.  This caused the animals to be born 15-percent human.

Scientists say this development will make it easier to use animal organs when people need transplants. . . .  But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God.   Some fear the possibility of silent viruses -- harmless in animals -- being introduced into the human race.

I am bit surprised that this is occurring - it doesn't seem to be the best idea to me.  Time to re-think organ donation policies again.  Thanks to Matthew Yglesias for the link - the comments at his place are pretty funny or would be if this weren't just a bit scary.

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