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Old 08-14-2003, 09:38 AM   #1
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Here comes Peter Cottontail???It's a human rabbit hybrid!

[Q]Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, August 14, 2003; Page A04

Scientists in China have, for the first time, used cloning techniques to create hybrid embryos that contain a mix of DNA from both humans and rabbits, according to a report in a scientific journal that has reignited the smoldering ethics debate over cloning research.

More than 100 of the hybrids, made by fusing human skin cells with rabbit eggs, were allowed to develop in laboratory dishes for several days before the scientists destroyed them to retrieve so-called embryonic stem cells from their interiors. Although scientists in Massachusetts had previously mixed human cells and cow eggs in a similar attempt to make hybrid embryos as a source of stem cells, those experiments were not successful.

Researchers said yesterday they were hopeful that the rabbit work would lead to a new and plentiful source of embryonic stem cells for research and, eventually, for medical use. But theologians and others decried the work as unethical.

Some wondered aloud what, exactly, such a creature would be if it were transferred to a womb to develop to term.

The vast majority of the DNA in the embryos is human, with a small percentage of genetic material -- called mitochondrial DNA -- contributed by the rabbit egg. No one knows if such an embryo could develop into a viable fetus, though some experiments with other species suggest it would not. [/Q]

Thoughts anyone?

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Old 08-14-2003, 10:33 AM   #2
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Amazing. They really don't know what they are creating or how this will affect future research with these embryonic stem cells.

For all the uproar surrounding the use of pesticides, hormones or genetically altering food, tinkering with human DNA gets very little attention.

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Old 08-14-2003, 10:58 AM   #3
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I'm all for embryonic stem cell research, but within reason. If there even is such a thing. This ain't it though.
These are mere baby steps. One day scientists and researchers will want to take larger ones.
Its worrying.
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Old 08-14-2003, 11:51 PM   #4
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I am not really thinking it would be smart to start crossing DNA when doing research for stem cells....and crossing species? I don't think so. That really doesn't sound like a good way to come up with new neural tissue for repair of spinal cord injuries does it?
But hey..can they make me a clone of half nestle'quickbunny>? (j/k)
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