Japan reconsiders chimeric experiments

ChimericMouseWithPups e
A chimeric mouse with its pups, which carry the agouti coat color gene (CREDIT: NIMH's Transgenic Core Facility, via Wikimedia Commons).

The following is an editorial summary.

A biological chimera is a single organism with two genetically distinct populations of cells. It could be, for instance, a pig which develops a genetically human pancreas. This is as close as genetics gets to the sort of abominations and amalgamations predicted by fear-mongers, and as such it is an area of extreme contention.

According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s ScienceInsider:

Current Japanese national guidelines governing stem cell research allow mixing human and animal material in vitro but forbid in vivo experiments[…] At a meeting on 18 June, the Expert Panel on Bioethics of the Council for Science and Technology Policy, the nation’s highest science advisory body, took a step [toward loosening these restrictions] by recommending that the guidelines be changed.

This comes at the request of stem cell biologist Hiromitsu Nakauchi at the University of Tokyo, who has had success in growing rat pancreases in mice and now wants to pursue the production of a viable human pancreas grown inside a pig. Nakauchi told ScienceInsider “that to the best of his knowledge, he is the first to try this approach to generating human organs.”

Read the full story here: Japan to Relax Ban on Chimeric Embryo Experiments

Additional Resources:

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
ft covidresponseus feature

Video: Viewpoint: The US wrote the global playbook on the coronavirus and then ignored it

A year ago, the United States was regarded as the country best prepared for a pandemic. Our government had spent ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend