lunes, 8 de agosto de 2016

BioEdge: NIH close to new policy on chimera research

BioEdge: NIH close to new policy on chimera research

NIH close to new policy on chimera research
Mouse, mouse-rat chimera, rat-mouse chimera and rat     
The National Institutes of Health announced this week that it will probably lift a ban on funding for animal-human chimeras. Since September last year the NIH refused to fund experiments in which human stem cells were added to animal embryos. However, scientists believe that the resulting chimeras will be valuable for investigating human development, disease pathology, and ultimately organ transplantation.

The NIH has asked for public comment on the proposed changes to its guidelines.

The new rules would shorten the period at which human stem cells can be added to animal embryos. It would not be possible to add them during the period when the central nervous system is forming, to avoid creating a chimera with a human, or mostly human brain. Breeding animals which contain human tissue would be banned to prevent the remote possibility of a human embryo growing in an animal womb or the birth of a chimera which is more human than its parents.

Chimera research would also require an extra layer of scrutiny. “It would be an extra set of eyes to make sure we’re not triggering any animal-welfare issues,” says Carrie Wolinetz, NIH associate director for science policy.

After September 4 the NIH will draft its final policy and hopefully lift the funding moratorium by late January.

The NIH realizes that it is important not to alarm the public. “We are not near the island of Dr Moreau, but science moves fast,” NIH ethicist David Resnik said last November at a workshop. “The specter of an intelligent mouse stuck in a laboratory somewhere screaming ‘I want to get out’ would be very troubling to people.”

Although NIH funding will make chimera research easier, it is already happening in the United States anyway. An article in MIT’s Technology Review earlier this year described some of the experiments which were being done with funding from the US Army and from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine. The ultimate aim is growing organs in pigs for people who need an organ transplant. 
- See more at:


The Games of the XXXI Olympiad have just started in Rio de Janeiro. A few thousand young men and women will be sweating in their competitions; a few billion people will be watching them on television screens; and a few bioethicists will be disputing the merits of taking drugs and human enhancement. Stretching the body to its limits, going "Faster, Higher, Stronger", is a thrilling spectacle. But -- this is just a personal crochet -- I've always sought out the human drama in the Olympics, which sometimes has nothing to do with record books. 
My favourite Olympic moment comes from the marathon at the 1968 Games in Mexico. John Stephen Akhwari, of Tanzania, began to cramp up because of the high altitude conditions. And then at the 19 kilometre mark, he fell and badly injured his knee and shoulder. But on he ran, or stumbled, and as dusk was falling, he hobbled into the nearly empty stadium, a bandage flapping around his leg, and crossed the finish line an hour after the winner. When they asked him why he bothered, he replied, "My country did not send me 5,000 miles to start the race; they sent me 5,000 miles to finish the race."
You can enhance stamina and speed, but can you enhance courage and loyalty? 
Have you any favourite Olympic stories? 

Michael Cook

This week in BioEdge
by Michael Cook | Aug 06, 2016
Ban on funding may be lifted by January
by Michael Cook | Aug 06, 2016
Killer wanted to reduce the burden on society
by Xavier Symons | Aug 06, 2016
The Brazil Olympics has stimulated spirited discussion about human enhancement and the ethics of doping.
by Xavier Symons | Aug 06, 2016
Does game theory provide us with a justification for banning doping?
by Michael Cook | Aug 06, 2016
After lots of bad publicity, the peak body reacts
by Michael Cook | Aug 06, 2016
Americans are sceptical of human enhancement
by Michael Cook | Aug 06, 2016
Is it "selfish"?
by Xavier Symons | Aug 06, 2016
A new American documentary claims to provide damning evidence of China's forced harvesting of organs.
Suite 12A, Level 2 | 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | Australia
Phone: +61 2 8005 8605
Mobile: 0422-691-615
New Media Foundation | Level 2, 5 George St | North Strathfield NSW 2137 | AUSTRALIA | +61 2 8005 8605 

BioEdge: NIH close to new policy on chimera research

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario