Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chimeras

Chimera is pronounced with a hard "C".  It's NOT "sh".  It's "K", followed with long "i", like in the word "kite."  Ki-mirror, is the way to say it.

What is it?  Chimeras are animals (and that includes human beings) with a combination of organs from other species.  Think Frankenstein.  Think again.  Many people have received replacement heart valves made out of pig or cow tissues.  This is a type of chimera.

Researchers use animals for medical study.  If a pig could provide a heart, kidney or liver, a human life would be saved.  This is a good thing.

What could go wrong?  


Think Frankenstein.

Pope Francis is said to have blessed some of the research.  The technology could be used for unethical practices.  Imagine a human brain inside a pig.  A pig brain inside a human.  Human embryonic stem cells put into animal embryos to create a chimeric animal.

Has your stomach turned, yet?

Let us pray that this new biomedical research remains in open interaction with ethicists.  It is a challenge, but human dignity has to be preserved.


No comments: