Tuesday, November 20, 2007

weird (read: scary) science

I have long labored under the impression that chimera's were mythological creatures, but I obviously need to revisit this. My Seed Daily Zeitgeist led me to an article about human chimeras. Interesting stuff, no doubt, but when they got to the two ladies who bore no genetic similarity to their own children I started to wonder. The article even brought up the question of DNA evidence in crimes. All we need is a psycho chimera serial killer and they'll never catch the bastard (I'll be fair: or the bitch)! I've just always thought of DNA (and it has been touted as such) as the do all and end all of proving all sorts of things and this information does away with that notion.

Of course, geneticists have been having a field day with this. For instance, did you know that in 2003 Chinese scientists merged rabbit ova and human skin cells to produce live stem cells for research? Or how about the group of scientists from Stanford U of CA's Institute of Cancer/Stem Cell Biology who have created mice with 1% human cells? Know about that? They want to study Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. There is a wild digression at that point where the author hypothesizes that the mice's human cells could migrate, produce human sexual organs and allow two mice to give birth to a human embryo. I'd say the jury is still out on that one but these are human cells people, not a playdoh set! Be careful with what you're doing!

Very good movie line for this post, very relevant, from one of the Jurassic Park movies when Ian (Jeff Goldblum) says something to the effect of "you were so focused on whether you could, you didn't stop to consider whether you should"......'nuf said.

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