National News

Controversy within the Sciences: The Creation of a Real-Life Chimera


Science has come a long way with all of the new technologies and continual advances in experimental research. While many of these discoveries have helped the progression of humanity, some will say that it may have gone too far. There have been a variety of groups opposing the experimentations on animals for the progress of humanity by advocating for animal rights. When scientists first started delving into stem cell research, it also brought up opposition since the roots of the experimentation came from cells of the human fetus. Controversial matters have come up once again through with these scientific progressions. Animals are now being used as test subjects for human stem cells, creating the mythical beast known as the chimera.

On a mythological standpoint, the chimera is a Greek beast with the head and body of a lioness, a goat head protruding from its back, and snake for a tail. It is was a deadly monster able to breathe fire and was literally a creature feared for its grotesque, unnatural appearance. While the combination of the monster can vary depending on region and culture, the chimera is a mythical creature that meshes fearsome and evil-associated animals together. The scientific version of a chimera is the genetic splicing of animals to create a new species through the use of stem cells and DNA replication. To be able to make a mythical beast a reality is a feat both wondrous and monstrous. How these creatures are made brings about an entirely different argument that can be completely unrelated to religion or animal rights. It is not only just an ethical issue to experiment and create human-animal hybrids, it could potentially bring about change in the definition of humanity and what is classified as human.

Rabbits with human cells, rats with protruding human ears, pigs with human blood, and other animals with any form of human within them bring out a whole new perspective to rights and ethical experimentation. Those who have taken certain stands on these specific sciences with experimenting on animals because they are not humans will not be able to argue this particular case if the animals become more humanistic from these experiments. If this area of sciences  continues on, what exactly will be classified as humans? Will there be subcategories in the future to the human species if these experiments on human-animal hybrids become successful? At the moment there are only tests going on with animals involving birth and stem cells from humans. If the opposite can later occur, as Professor George Church of Harvard Medical School speculates, the possibility of human females producing the human-animal hybrids will open the possibility of a human subspecies.

Canada has banned and illegalized the experimentation of human cells with nonhuman cells and vice-versa, putting an end to the issue of the chimera. Unfortunately many other parts of the world are using these newfound discoveries to explore the vast possibilities of this mythical creation. Currently, the United States of America has not had a conclusive vote on if this science should be legal or illegal. The consequences of success on human-animal hybrids are endless, and whether the general populace care or not about this matter of science, it will affect the entire world of science.

New technology and advances have indeed brought about progression for humanity but some areas of science probably should not be ventured too far into. While it may just “change the world,” it will most likely not be for the better or be on a thin line of what is considered to be humane. The world is already wrecked with racism and discrimination, and if a subcategory of humans are to be born into the world, it will just add onto the problems of the human question. What would be human? What would be animal? What would come of the world if animals had the brains and capacity of a human? What would come of the world if humans had the brains and capacity of an animal? The line at this point is still obvious but if success happens, the lines will be blurred to the point of no return. Science may have to take a step back to look at the bigger picture before any more progress is made.

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