Chimera (modern hybrid)
Chimeras, also known as Parahumans, are modern day, biotechnologically created human-animal hybrids, early 21st century organisms that are considered the closest to the fabled image of a furry being. They are so based on the Greek mythological creature, the Chimera, a monstrous being made of the parts of multiple animals.
Chimera creation process
Chimeras are created either by mixing human and animal gametes (sperms and eggs), or by transferring reproductive cells from a human being to a nonhuman embryo. Today's specimens normally carry between 1 to 5 percent of human genomes, and they are not normally allowed to reach adulthood, being terminated early after birth for experimental, or ethical, reasons.
Chimera creation ban
While animal to animal chimeras, and chimeral cell created monoclonal antibodies for pharmaceutical use, are accepted as the norm, the possible creation (even accidental) of self aware animal-human hybrids have generated such ethical concerns, as to have been banned, or in the process of being banned, by several nations.
Foremost has been Canada's Stem Cell Oversight Committee, which passed the Assisted Human Reproduction Act ( 2004, c. 2 ), which bans the creation of such beings by transference of a nonhuman cell into a human embryo, or vice-versa. There are currently no U.S. federal laws that address this issue, even after President Bush direct request for such a legislation on his 2006 State of the Union Address.
The only legislation ever proposed to address this issue in the USA, Kansas House Bill 2952, which would have made it a felony to "create or attempt to create a hybrid embryo or 'non-human life form' with human brain tissue," was struck down on March 26, 2006.
- National Geographic news's Animal-Human Hybrids Spark Controversy article (retrieved January 25, 2005)
- Scientists create partial human-sheep chimeras (retrieved March 25, 2007)
- Britain set to approve Human-Animal hybrid clones (retrieved September 4, 2007)
- First Human-Animal embryo trials to go ahead in Britain (retrieved January 17, 2008)