Human-cow embryos

BBC News reports:

UK scientists have applied for permission to create embryos by fusing human DNA with cow eggs.

Though controversial, I don’t think this is as appalling as it might sound to some (for example, those who think of it producing a human-cow chimera).

The problem is that human eggs for research are in short supply and to obtain them women have to undergo surgery.

That is why scientists want to use cows’ eggs as a substitute.

They would insert human DNA into a cow’s egg which has had its genetic material removed, and then create an embryo by the same technique that produced Dolly the Sheep.

The resulting embryo would be 99.9% human; the only bovine element would be DNA outside the nucleus of the cell.

Of course, a big ethical debate surrounds the whole story. But I tend to think, since it’s just used for research and is not going to be used to produce human tissues, why not as long as it has practical benefits?

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One Response to Human-cow embryos

  1. ncurse says:

    This 0.1% should be the mitochondria? You show the medical-scientific view perfectly, but it’s going to be tough to prove it to laymen…

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