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Human-Animal Hybrids Fail

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the good-help-hard-to-find dept.

Biotech 554

SailorSpork writes "Fans of furries and anime-style cat girls will be disappointed by the news that attempts to create human animal hybrids have failed. Experiments by British scientists to create embryonic stem cells by putting human DNA into cow or rabbit eggs had raised ethical concerns, but the question of how we would treat sub-humans will have to wait until we actually figure out how to make them."

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554 comments

How we would treat 'sub-humans' (5, Funny)

0racle (667029) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712075)

I believe that, at least in the case of cat-girls and bunny-girls, that question has already been answered.

Re:How we would treat 'sub-humans' (3, Funny)

LoRdTAW (99712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712731)

Have you ever seen a cats tongue and teeth or rabbit teeth? I don't want those any where near my privates. And how does a furry shave? I don't want cat/rabbit hair in my mouth. The eight breasts might be difficult to design lingerie for. Ok I think I have to take a shower now.

Some equality here! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712749)

I, for one, welcome all the excess catboys. They can have a sanctuary from fursecution in the relative safety of my home.

(Captcha: Fiendish)

Re:How we would treat 'sub-humans' (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712867)

In Soviet Russia, sub-humans treat you!

ah man. (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712087)

I was looking forward to Giraffe man.

Re:ah man. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712381)

i, for one, welcome our new giraffe overlords, and would like to remind them that as a trusted member of the media i can be helpful in rounding up people to taunt in their underground sugar caves.

huh? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712089)

A human-chimp hybrid was just elected president of the united states you insensitive clod!

Re:huh? (0, Redundant)

MightyYar (622222) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712821)

I know I shouldn't feed the trolls, but chimp skin is white... just so you know. You might want to adjust your troll and try in another thread.

Work still continues on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712135)

...five assed monkeys. Why?

Just a thought (5, Insightful)

Syncerus (213609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712173)

Maybe we should resolve the ethical concerns before we perform the science ...

This is opening Pandora's Box.

Re:Just a thought (0, Flamebait)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712297)

Yeah, that's how it works. The governments of the world got together to decide if burning fossil fuels would be ethical treatment of our environment. Yes, there was a UN decision last week about whether or not we should allow basic slave laborers to do ship-breaking on beaches where caustic and dangerous materials can leech into the oceans.

Damned good thing we make ethical decisions before acting on anything...

Re:Just a thought (5, Insightful)

princessproton (1362559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712525)

Just because exploring the ethical consequences hasn't been the modus operandi thus far, it doesn't mean that it isn't a cause worth considering. The fewer the people who stand up and ask for moral considerations, the easier it is for ethical abuses to occur unnoticed and unchecked. (Or, put in an even more cliche manner, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil, is for good men to do nothing.")

Re:Just a thought (0, Offtopic)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712763)

Want to hear something unethical? Jobs are being lost in the US, manufacturing has moved to countries where it's ethical to treat workers and the ecology in ways that would be illegal in North America. I hate to tell you this, but good men did do something and they called it outsourcing, and saw that it was good, so they did it some more. Now there are few of those good men left, corrupted by their own success they forgot about ethics. Sadly, stockholders rarely, if ever, give a shit about ethics.

Who can do something about it? Stockholders! When it becomes financially prudent to be ethical, those good men will come back to life. Government legislators can't even police their own behavior, never mind the behavior of people that buy stuff for them. The love of money is not the root of all evil, but you typically find both attributes in the same persons.

So, anyone have any idea how to motivate stockholders?

I'm tired of you ethical moralists (5, Insightful)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712385)

Whatever happened to doing things because we *could*, rather than because we should?

Re:I'm tired of you ethical moralists (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712841)

Nazi scientists maiming and blinding unwilling subjects happened.

Re:I'm tired of you ethical moralists (2, Insightful)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712859)

Even from a non ethical moralist view, the parent of the parent was right. When someone says maybe we should sort the paperwork out first, it doesn't mean the is a neat freak and you would be considered an ass for calling him one.

Sorting out ethics in ones mind does not make them a "moralist". Someone getting their heart ready for something big doesn't make them a moralist either.

Re:Just a thought (3, Interesting)

nobodylocalhost (1343981) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712609)

Speak of Pandora's box, replacing the animal DNA with human DNA in an animal cell is pretty much like taking out a big chunk of code out of your text editor in binary form, replace them with another chunk of code from your image editing software, without any understanding of what exactly is the processor doing, and hope the end result will actually execute and lets you edit images. TFA indicated that the right genes are getting turned off. What we really should worry about is what genes are getting turned on since our DNA is littered with inactive segments of virus RNAs. We may stumble on something that we don't know how to deal with.

enough (0, Flamebait)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712191)

enough about some other guy's sexual fantasy life being destroyed

can we get back to the urgent need to make fully human women with four breasts and two vaginas now please?

Re:enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712315)

considering most guys only have one penis and two hands, the only possible use of that is if you like to share with other dudes. But hey if thats your thing I won't stop ya :P

Re:enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712429)

And women everywhere already complain that men are unable to fully satisfy one...

Re:enough (3, Insightful)

Zakabog (603757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712481)

enough about some other guy's sexual fantasy life being destroyed

can we get back to the urgent need to make fully human women with four breasts and two vaginas now please?

Unless you want to share with your friends, two vaginas and four breasts are useless.

The key is to give men four arms and hands, that way even if the woman only has two breasts you can still use the other two hands to grab her ass. As an added bonus if they ever develop a four breasted woman humanity would be ready for it.

Re:enough (2, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712487)

Vaginas? You don't nearly watch enough porn.

In todays environment two assholes would make more sense, or maybe three, or maybe asshole coupled together with mouth at each entry for easy A2M. Assholes with teeths?

Admit it, man! (1)

StefanJ (88986) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712617)

This isn't about sex . . . you're heavily invested in the brassiere and tampon industry, aren't you?

Granted I'm not a geneticist... (3, Interesting)

Shadow Wrought (586631) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712197)

But would cow and rabbit be the most likely candidates for human hybridization? Wouldn't chimp make a lot more sense?

Re:Granted I'm not a geneticist... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712289)

There's no demand for ape-humans-- no money to be had. Chimps aren't sexy.

Wrong image text, try again
You failed to confirm you are a human. Please double-check the image and make sure you typed in what it says.

Re:Granted I'm not a geneticist... (3, Funny)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712395)

and there is a demand for cow humans, and cows are sexy?

Re:Granted I'm not a geneticist... (4, Funny)

greenreaper (205818) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712753)

You haven't played WoW recently, have you? Those Tauren babes . . . well, let's just say they serve a damn fine milkshake, if you know what I mean.

Re:Granted I'm not a geneticist... (4, Funny)

PPH (736903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712363)

The chimps wouldn't hold still while the scientists tried to have sex with them.

Bonobo nookie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712741)

The chimps wouldn't hold still while the scientists tried to have sex with them.

They should have tried bonobos [wikipedia.org] -- apparently they have sex simply to say "hello".

Re:Granted I'm not a geneticist... (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712495)

The point of the hybrids mentioned isn't to make freakish movie monsters or vile fringe-wank material; but to substantially lower the cost and difficult of generating and working with stem cells. Getting human DNA is trivial(cheek swab, skin cells, blood, whatever) human sperm is also pretty easy; but obtaining human eggs in any quantity is an unpleasant experience for the donor, requires some costly and potentially risky procedures, and is an all around nuisance. Monkeys might be modestly cheaper; but nonhuman primates are still quite expensive to work with, and are often subject to greater scrutiny than other animals.

Cows and rabbits are super cheap, and are slaughtered by the thousands all the time. Obtaining needed tissue should be relatively simple. That is the point of the exercise.

Re:Granted I'm not a geneticist... (2, Funny)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712513)

More people accept cows dying for the benefit of humans than apes. Simple as that, you all suck!

Re:Granted I'm not a geneticist... (1)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712701)

Wouldn't chimp make a lot more sense?

Don't know about the genetics part, but I seem to recall that chimps are becoming very rare and expensive for experimentation. Also, from the ethical/PR point of view people get a lot more worked up about experimening with chimps rather than cows, pigs & rabbits.

To bad (3, Insightful)

Dyinobal (1427207) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712207)

To bad DNA doesn't work like this. This is almost as bad as someone thinking the can make 'atomic super men' ala Futurama.

Re:To bad (1)

smooth wombat (796938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712485)

Of course you can make mutant atomic supermen. All you need is some DNA and chronitons. Who wouldn't want to have a cannon in their chest or extendible arms?

Granted, you may have to go to the Forbidden Zone in the Galaxy of Terror to get them, but so what?

Re:To bad (1)

aliquis (678370) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712561)

Or better yet, imagine if we could make a device for turning on / pointing at things at a distance (I don't remember what he used it for or called it so joke fails ..)

Re:To bad (1)

Rathum (1406047) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712743)

Or better yet, imagine if we could make a device for turning on / pointing at things at a distance (I don't remember what he used it for or called it so joke fails ..)

The finglonger, but that was never actually invented. The Professor was just watching it on the What If Machine.

Exactly! -- MOD PARENT UP (4, Insightful)

zooblethorpe (686757) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712575)

Too bad DNA doesn't work like this.

I really find myself wondering, where's the "duh" tag for this article? Sheesh. We've known for *decades* that radical hybridization simply don't work. Anyone remember the totato / pomato? Not the grafted gimmick plant, but the actual genetic hybrid? Yeah, didn't think so. That didn't work either.

Cheers,

Rabbit eggs? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712213)

Rabbit eggs? I guess the easter bunny has to make money somehow in the off-season.

NOOOOOOOO! (2, Funny)

twilightzero (244291) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712229)

My one hope for not dying a virgin geek...crushed like a grape under a giant anthromorphic fighting robot's foot. I'm doomed...

Guess I'll have to go with my backup plan to hack into a government mainframe and accidentally create Kelly LeBrock during a lightning storm. ;)

Let's not get ahead of ourselves (4, Insightful)

gEvil (beta) (945888) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712235)

...but the question of how we would treat sub-humans will have to wait until we actually figure out how to make them.

Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Hell, we're still dealing with how people should treat other actual humans.

Re:Let's not get ahead of ourselves (4, Insightful)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712405)

...but the question of how we would treat sub-humans will have to wait until we actually figure out how to make them.
Let's not get ahead of ourselves. Hell, we're still dealing with how people should treat other actual humans.

Ironically, by treating said humans like sub-humans.

I've never understood the problem here (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712257)

This has a lot of the same false problems that seems to plague morality based discussions of human cloning. The idea that a clone is going to be some sort of non-human entity with no moral standing one way or the other is just plain nuts. If you clone a person then that person has all of the rights any other person would have. It's really just a complicated way of giving birth. Even these human-animal hybrids are badly named, as they aren't going to be catgirls or manbearpigs or anything of the sort, just normal people with a really weird birth.

The only time ethical concerns should really come into play is when you're attempting to convict someone of a crime based on DNA evidence, but it's not like the law has not had to deal with this sort of problem before. Identical twins have already generated plenty of precedents to draw from.

It drives me crazy when congresspeople are spending hours and hours talking about how cloning is an affront before god and has to be stopped, but can't seem to make a good argument as to why other than citing bad movie plots or vague "They won't have a soul!" type arguments.

Re:I've never understood the problem here (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712475)

The problem is they're creating these to harvest organs and do scientific research. If you really think they have the same rights as a naturally-born person, then you ought to be appalled.

Re:I've never understood the problem here (2, Insightful)

Conspiracy_Of_Doves (236787) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712751)

If we're going to perform cloning just for organ harvesting, we can easily just not allow the brain to develop. Hell, just make it a torso with no head or limbs. Just a nutrient intake tube and waste output tube.

Re:I've never understood the problem here (1)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712917)

Hell, just make it a torso with no head or limbs. Just a nutrient intake tube and waste output tube.

I don't know about anyone else, but just the thought of this strikes me as fundamentally wrong and evil.

Talking about how cloning is an affront before god (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712601)

I think congress is worried some scientist might clone a hybrid person with a donkey and put them out of business.

Re:I've never understood the problem here (1, Interesting)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712667)

For me, its not so appalling because "It won't have a soul!!!" but appalling because of the chance that it _will_.

Suppose Religion is real and you create some kind of sci-fi cartoonish Larson-esque Cow Person who actually _has_ a soul... and it spends its life, at best, ostracized by humanity, and at worse, spends its short life in experiments before being destroyed.

Religious people aren't against cloning because they think something won't have a soul... they're against it because some scientist is playing the role of creator, father, and executioner with something that _does_ have a soul.

Re:I've never understood the problem here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712689)

It really doesn't matter yet anyway. Every clone that actually makes it past birth ends up dieing for unknown reasons anyway. When we have an actual clone that is able to live more than a number of minutes, months, or a few short years we'll worry about how to treat them. Just saying.

Re:I've never understood the problem here (3, Interesting)

SkOink (212592) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712691)

There are a lot of cases where genetic engineering (either cloning or hybridization) DOES raise many valid ethical concerns.

Think about this:

1) Would you feel bad about taking organs from a clone which was grown without any brain?
2) What about a clone who had a brain the size of a bird's?
3) What about a clone with a brain the size of a three year old?

Or say we made some humans who had the intelligence of a dog. Would they be less than human? Could we treat them like slaves and train them just like we train dogs now? What would happen if one of the subhumans bred with a real human? Would the result be 'human' enough that you would treat it like a human?

Re:I've never understood the problem here (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712905)

What if you did the same with normal retard babies? These are really separate issues from cloning. If someone wanted to today, they could find a partner with the same blood type, have a whole lot of babies, lobotomize them at birth, and then harvest the organs later in life for transplants, etc...

Just because someone might try the same thing with cloning doesn't make it any less evil.

The answer for pretty much all of these "ethical dilemmas" is very easy: Clones have just as many rights as humans do once born, because they are human. Even these human-animal hybrids are easy, since they're just humans that happen to be born in a cow. If someday we get to the point where we can make actual catgirls then that's still easy: they're human (unless it's a cat that just happens to be born from a woman for some reason). This is pretty much moot though because we're not talking about beastman type movie monsters, just people with odd births.

Re:I've never understood the problem here (1)

77Punker (673758) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712755)

It feels like religion/morals is the justification they use for all of their decisions here in the States. As an American, an atheist, and a college graduate it really bothers me that it feels like everything is justified by a religion rather than logic. Didn't these guys study formal logic in law school?

Unfortunately, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion" is not the same as "Congress shall make no law whose only justification is an establishment of religion"

Re:I've never understood the problem here (0, Flamebait)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712921)

your first paragraph has little to do with your 2nd paragraph; you fail at the "logic" you claim to support.

Congress *isn't* making a law that establishes a religion. However, if you think that the original writers had any idea in their head that a person could stop being the person they are and do things as a non-them, or that religious people should have no say in government, then you're a straight-up idiot.

You might want to reconsider getting a real education, or discontinuing trying to figure this sort of thing out, if you really think that the Framers intended for people who are religious to not be involved in government.

On the question of... (1)

grumpyman (849537) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712271)

"how we would treat sub-humans will have to wait until we actually figure out how to make them"... I think it's time to start to give it some thoughts. This is quite a bit different from creating a car, telephone or light bulb...etc.

We'd treat them the same way we treat furries (4, Funny)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712311)

Hierarchy of geekdom. Published scifi authors at the top, furries at the bottom, erotic furries below that.

http://www.brunching.com/geekhierarchy.html [brunching.com]

Re:We'd treat them the same way we treat furries (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712591)

Video gamers are more geeky then Trekkies?

Re:We'd treat them the same way we treat furries (1)

jollyreaper (513215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712769)

Video gamers are more geeky then Trekkies?

Depends on if you define "more geeky" as a good thing or a bad thing. The chart implies who looks down upon whom, note the direction the arrows point, both ways. Pokemon fans over the age of six still feel superior to furries and furries likewise feel superior to them.

Animal Genetic Material into Human Eggs (1)

Ohio Calvinist (895750) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712319)

It would seem more beneficial to try to give specific animal abilities to humans such as increased sensory or physical ability rather than make animals more human. I would think that the only real ability we have is our thumbs and higher reasoning skills, which would need to be intact to truly benefit the animal. Making a dog .5 IQ points smarter by inserting human genes to stimulate brain development makes great science, but isn't that useful in practice. It would need to be a huge jump to make much difference for the animal. Making a human produce more red-blood cells, or more muscles, or stronger immunity, could make a huge difference in athletics (where world-records are broken by milliseconds) or medicine.

Of course they fail. (1)

Dr. Manhattan (29720) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712347)

According to wikipedia [wikipedia.org] , "Prospective studies using very sensitive early pregnancy tests have found that 25% of pregnancies are miscarried by the sixth week LMP (since the woman's Last Menstrual Period). Clinical miscarriages (those occurring after the sixth week LMP) occur in 8% of pregnancies." And that's with all-human cells and genes, in an effectively optimal environment for the embryo to grow.

More-or-less haphazardly mixing up nonhuman cells/genes with human ones (which is, at present, all we're technically equipped to do) is almost certain to fail.

Re:Of course they fail. (1)

kanweg (771128) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712719)

Think of all those souls that are lost.

Bert
Who expects to see lots of embryos walking around in heaven.
Who resents them for being there, because they didn't have a chance at sinning.

'Sub' human? (3, Interesting)

Spatial (1235392) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712431)

Such an ugly term. How about Parahuman?

Re:'Sub' human? (1)

oodaloop (1229816) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712527)

What about the Morthans? As in more than human? They could colonize their own planet and breed a class of warriors the likes of which humans have never seen.

Man-plant is the way forward (2, Interesting)

benwiggy (1262536) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712433)

Privet hedges is the only other species to have 23 pairs of chromosomes - the same as Man. We should be cross-breeding humans with plants!

Re:Man-plant is the way forward (1)

Taibhsear (1286214) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712833)

I've always wondered why they haven't researched animals that use chloroplasts. (I believe a slug and some other small creatures also have a symbiosis with photosynthetic microorganisms) It'd be a great modification for skin cells of starving people. Converting co2 and water to sugar and shuttling to the bloodstream. Granted they still need fat and protein but it would certainly help out.

Ta+3o (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712501)

fear t4e reaper national gay nigger standpoiNt, I don't

Flamebait title? (2, Funny)

Ailure (853833) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712541)

Anyone else read the title of this Slashdot story, and thought it was about how much anime and furry fans fail? ;)

Have to wait? (1)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712551)

the question of how we would treat sub-humans will have to wait until we actually figure out how to make them

Why? I think it _should_ be the other way around.

Or the more serious topic. (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712587)

Many animals have natural immunity to diseases that we don't. Or digest particular foods better then we do, or have instincts of healthier activities, such as preferring the taste of vegetables over high fat meet. Lets say for example we bread a human with a shark and a rabbit. Immune from Cancer however prefers vegetables and able to digest vegetables more efficiency.

Re:Or the more serious topic. (2, Insightful)

Culture20 (968837) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712757)

And when it smells blood it goes into a biting frenzy, and it breeds out of control.

Re:Or the more serious topic. (3, Insightful)

Bearhouse (1034238) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712901)

Yeah, but what if it all goes wrong, and we end up with a killing machine that loves meat and breeds like crazy? Oh wait...

No wonder it doesn't work (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712737)

"putting human DNA into cow or rabbit eggs"

No wonder it doesn't work. Cows don't even lay eggs!! Must be the UN scientists...

Misread Headline (1)

sunami88 (1074925) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712771)

Haha, for a second there I thought it said "Human-Animal Hybrids Fail"

...Oh wait... it did... Eeewww.

If this had any chance of working.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712895)

...there'd be hundreds if not thousands of sheep-boys running around West Virginia.

More bad news. (1)

LiteralKa (1273510) | more than 5 years ago | (#26712919)

Furries will also be disappointed to read the headline "Study questions usefulness of animal-human embryos".

We already have a slew of subhumans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26712975)

We call them liberals.

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