How is it possible that we understand exquisitely well how worms, fruit flies, and rodents develop, but our own species’ development remains a black box?
One big reason is that for a long time, the politics of doing science on human embryos and fetuses have been radioactive…But things are beginning to thaw.
Human chimeras have great potential to enhance our understanding of human development. Among other things, this kind of work could lead to discoveries about human brain development…[and] could also shed new light on serious human developmental problems, and even be used to manufacture donor organs….
When it comes to human chimeras, we need to anticipate and discuss [all] theoretical outcomes…before scientists start the NIH-funded chimera research in earnest.
…[W]e must accept the reality that this innovative work will yield chimeric outcomes of biomedical advances mixed with difficult questions. If we tackle, rather than avoid, these questions, not only can these efforts provide a foundation for more ethically rigorous research, but also produce revolutionary insights into what it means to be human.
The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Human Chimera Research’s Huge (and Thorny) Potential