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February 03, 2009

Random Mammal Ovum + Human DNA = FAIL

Perhaps some smart person here can explain to me why I shouldn't be indifferent to this particular kind of scientific failure.

"The idea was to simply to plunk a patient's DNA into an empty cow or rabbit egg -- and presto -- you reprogram the DNA back into a stem cell," Lanza said in a telephone interview.

But teams that have tried to do this have always ended up with what looks like a cell dividing over and over to become an embryo, but which eventually fizzles out.

"For the last decade, we've carried out literally hundreds of experiments trying to create patient-specific stem cells using animal eggs," Lanza said.

"We got beautiful little hybrid embryos, but it didn't work no matter how hard we tried."[emphasis mine -ed.]

I guess I can understand what they're trying to do, and the possibilities are inspiring. The Ick Factor, however, is off the charts.

From the comments:

So let me get this straight: Corn genetically engineered to withstand drought = evil corporate Frankenfood endangering all life on Earth. Human-pig hybrid embryo cells = enlightened, humane medical advances.

Nice one, Johanna.

digg this
posted by LauraW. at 10:51 AM

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