Dr. Frankenstein or Madame Curie?
April 3, 20008
The UK Telegraph newspaper reported Tuesday that Doctors at Newcastle University have created the first hybrid embryos blending human and cow DNA. The embryos which only developed for three days were part of basic research on cloning and not part of any attempt to create a hybrid creature, which is illegal, according to the researchers. Scientists say it’s an important technical milestone and advances scientific understanding of life and could be used to cure disease in the future. Meanwhile, ethicists’ are going bonkers.
“We can’t be screwing with this stuff, creating combo life forms in the lab and then flushing them down the toilet before they break free and terrorize villages, it’s not that simple,” said moralist and antique collector, Spuds MacGraw, spinning like a top and warning everyone to take cover from unexpected disaster of all kinds. “This is bad. Really, really bad. If it’s going on in our universities, you just know that some lunatic doctor someplace is doing it in his basement and we’re going to have Quasimodo climbing out of the earth someplace. Or worse, some super intelligent creature that will beguile us into oblivion. I don’t honestly know what will happen and that’s the whole point. No one does. We’re shuffling life forms like playing cards now and all the cards are wild! Holy shit!”
Not everyone is worried that gambling with life forms is risky. “The mixture of DNA from various plants, animals and humans is a long way from the Frankenstein monster running amok,” said scientist and deep thinker Letr Ripp, busy mixing DNA from aborted human fetuses with green beans and pork chops to see what happens. “Religious zealots and old fashioned philosophers are always complaining about techniques that advance science and cause society to view human beings and other life forms as mere fodder for milling and remixing into other stuff. But the other stuff tends to be pretty cool a lot of time. Some silly folks complained when we detonated nuclear bombs in the earth’s atmosphere in the 1960’s just so we could see what would happen. It was no big deal. Sure some are worried that automobile’s are causing global warming and that it’s bad. But heck, if the atomic explosions in our atmosphere didn’t hurt, why does my Ford Tempo? People need to relax and quit worrying about messing with nature. It’s how we advance human evolution.”
A British Council meeting in Israel was told by Dr Lyle Armstrong of Newcastle University that he and his colleagues created human and cow hybrids by injecting DNA derived from human embryo cells into eggs taken from cows ovaries which have had DNA responsible for their characteristics removed, so called nuclear DNA, and leaving only cow DNA used to power the cells. The purpose of the experiments is to study the way genes change early in development, so the primary aim of research is basic understanding, not generating stem cells, said Prof John Burn, a spokesman for Newcastle University.
According to the UK Telegraph newspaper, scientists want to extract stem cells, the body’s master cells, from the resulting hybrids, in order to increase understanding of a range of diseases from diabetes to stroke and ultimately to produce treatments, though they stress the cells themselves would not be used. The Catholic Church has branded these “experiments of Frankenstein proportion.” Some people say that the scientific manipulation of life is actually a moral imperative in that it can be used to improve health and save lives, and that such experiments while sometimes risky and seen by society as wrong, can benefit that same society.
“People frequently confuse short term moral challenges with the long term benefits derived from radical, sometimes aggressive, scientific advancement and change,” said Heinrich Himmler, a misunderstood German Nazi who oversaw human experimentation, the extermination of people deemed “unworthy of life” and the involuntary sterilization of people with “bad” genes. “There are no good reasons to keep humans in the food chain who are old, ill or unfit to live because I have a bad opinion of them. And there are no good reasons not to experiment with the living, dying and in between. We must stop the extremist zealots who say they value life and want to protect it from thoughtful scientists like myself who only want to gain knowledge and eliminate all disease, illness and weakness from humanity. I’m the greatest humanist of all and a humanitarian to boot. Men and women like me should be worshipped and not condemned.”
In related news, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he also has been unreasonably criticized just because he wants to advance science by obtaining nuclear weapons and pursue the extermination and subjugation of Israel and the West. “My efforts are solely for the advancement of proper society by eliminating illness in body and soul through purposeful beheading and the nuking of infidels,” the bearded do-gooder reportedly said at an Islamofascist Peace Rally. “There was no Jewish Holocaust, there was simply a mass German scientific advancement carried out with enthusiasm. You have to appreciate just how dedicated the Nazi’s were to improving health and society.”
Up next: Dr. Frankenstein or Madame Curie? You make the call.
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