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The Chimera Dilemma Manifested in Sheep

timothy posted more than 9 years ago | from the it-couldn't-quite-manifest-in-person dept.

Biotech 433

Rollie Hawk writes "While many limits on stem cell research exist in the United States, scientist are finding wants to straddle or at least blur the line between man and animal. It's not quite The Island of Doctor Moreau, but it's bringing a pantheon of ethical dilemmas, nonetheless. The creation of chimeras, named for the mythical beast composed of parts from several different animals, has been in the news off and on for the last few months. The latest case involves around 50 sheep said to possess at least partially human organs. These heavily modded sheep are growning human-like organs such as livers, hearts, and blood. All of these could eventually be close enough to the real thing to be harvested as replacements parts. If that doesn't shock you, consider one other human organ that is being grown in some of these sheep: human brains. While it is doubtful that anyone would want a brain transplant from a human-sheep chimera, it does hold the possibility for doing brain research that would never be allowed on human beings. That is, unless, the brains end up being too human. Just the possibility of a human mind bouncing around inside a sheep's head is a scary proposition."

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Bird brain (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400278)

But I want a bird brain you insensitive clod !!

Re:Bird brain (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400564)

Just the possibility of a human mind bouncing around inside a sheep's head is a scary proposition.

At least the Dem's will get more votes!

I'm sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)

A problem? (5, Funny)

gatorflux (759239) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400285)

Well, the wife never complained when she found I was part horse.

Re:A problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400304)

She likes living with an ass?

Re:A problem? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400338)

An Ass is a donkey, cockmaster.

Re:A problem? (2, Funny)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400558)

My wife, on the other hand, always complains that I'm part pig.

Just kidding of course, I don't have a g/f let alone a wife!

Re:A problem? (4, Funny)

Directrix1 (157787) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400731)

Don't deceive people, you're an ass.

"Heavily modded sheep" (4, Funny)

Elius I (773858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400294)

What has the world came to?

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (1)

ksaville00 (833015) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400352)

lol, thats a good question...what else are they working on...

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (4, Funny)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400442)

"Man, like I had that baby just flyin' along doing all sorts of algorithms, and doing Quake, and man... You would not believe the kind of stuff you can do with a modded sheep."

"Yeah, I was like, takin' mine down Central Ave. and this cop, he just came outta nowhere, man. He could not even keep up, and its a real good thing I put the air dam on the rear end, cause the tail kept flyin' up and I hit the hill at Brisco, and nearly lost it totally."

"Modded" was a bad choice of words. Now I have images of blue neon trim and all sorts of flashy bling bling on the farm...

I know! (3, Funny)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400500)

Why isn't this in the hardware section?

Stupid editors ...

Re:I know! (2, Interesting)

ZephyrXero (750822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400710)

Could possibly go in the "Your Rights" section too. All those people who were afraid of genetic stuff aren't sounding quite as crazy now...

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (4, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400572)

What the article *doesn't* mention is that if you poke the sheep enough, they'll explode on you.

On a more serious note, was anyone else distrubed by the fact that it was recommended, concerning human-brained mice, that they monitor for signs of humanlike behavior in human-brained mice, and if they find such behavior, they were to... immediately kill the mice? Excuse me? If a mouse is starting to think like a person, shouldn't the appropriate response be to cease testing, ensure a good life for it, and only euthanize it if there are signs that it is suffering?

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (2, Informative)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400646)

Universities have been case-modding cows [vpscenter.com] for ages. This has the benefit of producing some truly odd pictures. Plus, cows are dumb.

But sheep with human brains? How long until we have to tell farm animals to quit their jibber-jabberin'?*

*If you didn't get that, be thankful.

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400727)

We need a +1 WTF?!? moderation.

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (1)

Murphy Murph (833008) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400670)

Does this mean I can meet the meat?

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400679)

What has the world came to?

There's no need to worry unless, say, the sheep start chanting "Four legs good, two legs better!" over and over for five minutes, or start a Whiter Wool movement.

So, after they dissect the sheep, will they posthumously declare it "Animal Hero, Second Class"?

Re:"Heavily modded sheep" (3, Funny)

zepmaid (694112) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400692)

OK. have the sheep been modded +5 Insightful or -1 Troll??

Didn't we already do that? (4, Funny)

ericdano (113424) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400300)

Haven't we done that? Timothy is a living example of a Sheep grown brain transplanted into a human ;-)

Re:Didn't we already do that? (0, Troll)

barryman_5000 (805270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400395)

Enough Tim-bashing for one day. My god slashdotters complain overly too much.

Re:Didn't we already do that? (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400560)

Mod parent redundant.

"overly too much"? wtf?

Does it matter? (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400309)

We're not too far from sheep these days either. Everyone got pissed at Iraq for having weapons of mass destruction because the US Government said so.

That justified our plunge into the heart of their country and subsequent 'liberation'. Now that we've raped it over and over and handed it to the highest bidder, there's been no mention of these weapons.

Cannibalism (2, Funny)

NoseBag (243097) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400323)

I've seen several versions of this article recently, and have been resisting (until..uh..now) asking a question:

If I slaughter and eat one of the sheep am I guilty of cannibalism?

Re:Cannibalism (4, Funny)

Abm0raz (668337) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400451)

better question: should Welshmen start to be charged with rape when they bugger them?

-Ab

Re:Cannibalism (1)

danharan (714822) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400479)

Regardless of morality, I'd have to wonder what eating a human brain (at least genetically/protein-wise) could do to you.

Re:Cannibalism (1)

ticklejw (453382) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400611)

Ask Hannibal

SO true (1)

mbrewthx (693182) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400327)

"you guys are just a bunch of mindless sheep following the crowd!!!!!!"
"Hey how did you know where brain was grown?"

Human brain? (3, Funny)

Andrewkov (140579) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400330)

I thougt I got picked on at school .. At least I didn't have a sheep's body! Joking aside, can you imagine a sheep with almost human intelligance? Man, that is freaky. Perfect fodder for horror movies, though.

Nah, not scary (1)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400399)

They still wouldn't have opposable thumbs, so they couldn't use firearms. And their native attacks like kicking and biting are pretty pathetic. They'd be no threat at all.

Re:Nah, not scary (1)

BattleCat (244240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400412)

Have you ever been... kicked by a sheep ?

Re:Nah, not scary (3, Funny)

flewp (458359) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400447)

Just try and let that freak sheep mutant get near me with my opposable thumbs and a large caliber handgun.

Re:Nah, not scary (1)

DupyMcCopy (803233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400457)

Have you ever played worms, were the sheep were suicide bombers. But I guess without possible thumbs the sheep couldn't make the bombs or wire themselfs with it. On the other hand if we give monkeys possible thumbs maybe the sheep could free the monkeys and teach the, to use fire arms against. The next world war will not be man against man but man against modified animal man-hybrids.

Re:Nah, not scary (1)

BrowserCapsGuy (872795) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400638)

If we can grow human brains in sheep, why can't we grow human hands? Then they'd have opposable thumbs.

Re:Human brain? (1)

KiloByte (825081) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400469)

Check what happens if you give sapience to an elephant [schlockmercenary.com] (second example [schlockmercenary.com] ) or monkey [schlockmercenary.com] .

Re:Human brain? (2, Funny)

TopShelf (92521) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400474)

Just imagine the commercial possibilites, should they succeed...

Re:Human brain? (2, Insightful)

I_Human (781026) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400630)

Sure the sheep has a "human" brain, but that wont necessarily make it human-like. Classic nature vs nurture, and I think for it to be more human-like we have to look at the sheeps nurturing. I suppose the human-brained sheep would be akin to feral children and not show much more than just the animal that they are. Interesting to think about anyway.

Re:Human brain? (1, Insightful)

gnuman99 (746007) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400652)

Many animals have much higher functional intelligence than many mentally handicaped humans. A sheep with human intelligence would still be viewed and treated like a sheep.

Maybe this is the time we start to re-examine how we treat other animals. Sadly, this will probably not happen in my lifetime (ie. next 50+ years)...

Re:Human brain? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400739)

Maybe this is the time we start to re-examine how we treat other animals.

Absolutely. For example, there must be new sauces that can be developed.

Hard to Imagine... (3, Funny)

Herkum01 (592704) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400332)

That Skittles got to this story first. FYI: Skittles has been playing a commercial with two sheep with human heads are eating Skittles. They comment on how they could manage to cross two completely different flavors into one candy.

Skittles: Taste the creepy rainbow (3, Funny)

Scrameustache (459504) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400494)

That Skittles got to this story first. FYI: Skittles has been playing a commercial with two sheep with human heads are eating Skittles.

Available on their site, quicktime or windows media: Taste the sheep boys [skittles.com] .

I miss the beautifull surreal skittle ads, the creepifying ones don't make me want to eat their stuff: I might get the same horrible nightmare vision they do.

brains? (-1, Redundant)

Prophetic_Truth (822032) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400335)

I for one, welcome our new human-brained sheep chimera overlords.

Scary? Yeah, the sheep could revolt! (1)

Jonathan (5011) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400349)

"Are we sheep or are we men? Oh, wait, we *are* sheep, but we have human brains. Hey, look a farmer! Let's get him!"

Re:Scary? Yeah, the sheep could revolt! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400458)

Clinging to each other in their loneliness and alienation, George and his simple-minded friend Lennie dream, as drifters will, of a place to call their own. But after they come to work on a ranch in the Salinas Valley their hopes, like "the best laid schemes o' sheep an' men," begin to go awry.

I've had a brain transplant! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400351)

Well, how do you know?

My dick is bigger now

But wait! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400358)

"... human mind bouncing around inside a sheep's head is a scary proposition."

Not back in good 'ol Arkasas! We already dun treat sheep like people uther ways! Now they cun' talk like girlfriends too! H'yuck!

(Disclaimer: no real offense to the good people of Arkasas)

Re:But wait! (1)

barryman_5000 (805270) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400413)

No offense to english majors too? Arkansas . . . not arkasas.

But I thought ... (1)

ggvaidya (747058) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400517)

Arkansas and it's pronounciation was an offense to English majors anyway. :P

Heavily modded? (1)

adlaiff6 (810221) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400362)

That's okay, as long as the transparent textures stay goddamned transparent.

Why is this scary? (3, Insightful)

pyth (87680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400370)

Because it's new? Are you a luddite?

Re:Why is this scary? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400381)

Here I am, a brain the size of a sheep's skull

Re:Why is this scary? (1)

VikingDBA (446387) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400443)

Is a person a Luddite simply because they question the wisdom of doing something that is new?

Sheep blood (3, Insightful)

shog9 (154858) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400675)

Is a person a Luddite simply because they question the wisdom of doing something that is new?
No, not until they start attacking the new thing with axes...

Re:Why is this scary? (1)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400696)

Its been said that the only constant is change, but weighed against that, not all change is for the better. On the whole, I have to say that if you were to view these advances from a purely scientific perspective, obviously what has been achieved is remarkable and laudable.

On the other hand, you have to ask yourself just how far we can and will go, and what effect this will have on various societies. What repercussions will this have on cross-species diseases? What purpose will these chimeras serve?

One place they will certainly find uses will be in menial and domestic tasks. A low intelligence, geneered for obedience servant. In other words, a slave race. The next question of course, is would that be a bad thing? Any worse than say, a household dog?

And lets not forget the obvious military applications. Depending on your personal perspective, it may be a good or bad thing to have a race of creatures bred purely to fight our wars for us. Personally I am in favour of having them, because the sad truth is that if "we" don't, "they" will, and the only time tested method to ensure peace is a balance of powers. And realistically folks, its only a matter of time

So is it scary? Right now, no. In the longer term, its downright terrifying.

Bioethics (5, Interesting)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400382)

Two researchers were discussing this topic on Science Friday [sciencefriday.com] last week.

The thing that kept running through my mind as I listened to the discussion was how someone with enough money could run circles around these ethics panels and produce chimeras off-shore.

Now that Bush has made the political (rather than scientific) decision to limit stem cell lines, this activity will most certainly occur outside of the US and beyond any jurisdiction of American ethics organizations.

Re:Bioethics (1)

Rostin (691447) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400488)

Now that Bush has made the political (rather than scientific) decision to limit stem cell lines

Isn't it possible that there are more than two sets of criteria upon which to base a decision such as this? Ethical, perhaps?

Re:Bioethics (4, Insightful)

FidelCatsro (861135) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400591)

For a politican there is normaly two criteras ,
#1: Fiscal(who bribed/lobied(same word really) me the most)
#2: Ethical(If I do this , will i get voted out next term and be unable to recive #1)

politicans generaly have all the ethics of 51% of the votes and the largest cash pay off.

Re:Bioethics (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400680)

Isn't it possible that there are more than two sets of criteria upon which to base a decision such as this? Ethical, perhaps?

Sure. There are probably financial reasons as well.

But Bush didn't make the decision for purely ethical reasons. He made his decision as a nod to the conservative wing of his party.

What ethical reason would there be for denying individuals the medical advances that come from stem cell research?

Re:Bioethics (1)

monkeydo (173558) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400509)

Did you RTFA? This work is being done with adult stem cells, just like all the other useful stem cell research that has been done.

Re:Bioethics (1)

geomon (78680) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400658)

Did you RTFA?

Yep.

This work is being done with adult stem cells, just like all the other useful stem cell research that has been done.

And there are limits to what can be done with the existing stem cell lines.

That is why private foundations and the State of California have started funding their own stem cell research.

Re:Bioethics (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400671)

Now that Bush has made the political (rather than scientific) decision to limit stem cell lines, this activity will most certainly occur outside of the US and beyond any jurisdiction of American ethics organizations.

Of course it's political. Science only answers "what can be done?", not "what should be done?" I don't have any problem with the idea there should be limits on what my tax dollars pay for. In any event, Bush doesn't have the power to unilaterally make stem cell research illegal, he just changed the rules under which scientists get money for the research. And no, that's a long way from a prohibition.

Furthermore, the argument that we should allow something unethical to happen in the US so it doesn't happen somewhere else is specious. The Nazis conducted numerous medical experiments [remember.org] on people. Should we have done the same so as not to fall behind?

It does explain a lot though (4, Funny)

Weaselmancer (533834) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400393)

While it is doubtful that anyone would want a brain transplant from a human-sheep chimera

It would explain how the Patriot Act and the DCMA got passed.

Ba dump bump! Thanks, I'll be here all week. Be sure to tip your waitresses.

That's *COOL* (4, Interesting)

fazil (62946) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400394)


Human brains in sheep? Now that's just plain *COOL* Hacking the genes.. loads of fun!

I don't know why so many people get upset about this kind of thing.. I mean, if my mom had something like CJD from eating euro-beef 10 years ago, and you could sacrifice a legion of humo-sheep hybrid brains to save her.. Sacrifice away! Myself, I have a damaged heart.. if I could have a new one, I'd kill any number of chimera sheep to get it. I want to watch my boy grow up, not die at 35. Oh, and you go tell that hypotetical burn victim why he'll be deformed for the rest of his life, because he can't have the artificial skin developed from chimera sheep in Qwai Pong Province china, because his narrow minded government doesn't think it's ethical.

In the balance of life, they're sheep. Who cares? Grow them in vats for all I care. As long as this is all done in a clean room environment, so we can minimize the risk of having superbug's crossing the sheep human barrier...

Re:That's *COOL* (5, Insightful)

dj_segfault (598426) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400475)

I think cuz brains is different.

If an animal had a human brain, with something approaching human intellect (could you have usefil human-like brains without human-like intellect>), the the list of what is cruel to do to them and what is not has to move more towards the human end of the spectrum.

In fact, it might be cruel simply to have a creature with our level of intelligence but without the ability to do anything with it. It would be like shoving a kid in solitary for their whole life. Clearly they would go crazy in short order. That's what really bored humans with too little stimulation do.

----
Abbey.... normal?

Chimeras (0, Redundant)

Turn-X Alphonse (789240) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400409)

Theres a BIG difference between Chimeras and organ farming in sheep. It's not a chimera untill it's part lion, tiger and lizard all in different parts combind. One cell or a different shaped heart means nothing.

Hmmm... My thoughts at first... (1)

suitepotato (863945) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400415)

1. This sounds like the w*t dr**ms of furry fans right off the bat. Nuff said.

2. Is it any more moral to experiment on the sheep than humans?

3. Will children be soon taught to recite other songs? "May was a little lamb, her fleece as white as snow..."

4. Will "Mint Jelly" be a new favorite scent in body washes now?

5. How will we tell the American public from the chimeras? Both have allegedly humans brains, both act like sheep...

6. Who will be the first to welcome our new Merino overlords?

7. Will Dan Merino be sued into forking over royalties regarding his name?

8. Will we reach a time when our livestock can rebuild our systems as fast as we can and we give new meaning to "server farm"?

9. Should I be against or for this, and exactly why?

In short, I came, I saw, I was no less confused than before, I shrugged. Category: Judgement Reserved Indefinitely.

Won't make a real human. (4, Insightful)

logicnazi (169418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400431)

Just injecting some human brain cells into a sheep or even transplanting an early human brain from a fetus is unlikely to produce any kind of human sheep. The human brain doesn't just develop from a genetic blueprint but also requires a huge amount of deveelopmental cues and responds to hormones and signaling molecules (like sonic the hedgehog) to develop properly. Not to mention a host of enviornmental stimuli needed to encourage the brain to wire itself correctly.

In short it isn't just human neurons which make us human but the whole brain development system at work in babies. This isn't the sort of thing which could be duplicated in a sheep without extensive genetic modification or hand controlling all the developmental signals. If this is possible at all it is far beyond our current level of technology.

So don't get freaked out yet people. They are just growing human neurons in sheep at the moment there is no chance we will make a person trapped in a sheep body.

God damn these popular stories can be misleading.

Re:Won't make a real human. (1)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400521)

Pity I allready commented or I'd give this some much deserved points. I was tempted to say the same, but don't have enough background in the subject to really be casting stones at the reporter for fear-mongering.

Re:Won't make a real human. (1)

ziggy the zagnut (639592) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400527)

Um, as if you understand the connection between human consciousness/spirits and human bodies. You don't. Nobody does. It is possible that whatever mechanism connects one spirit/consciousness with one body could be putting a human consciousness inside these hybrid sheep. We don't know if that connection takes place in the brain, through the umbilical, through cells, or what. However, you are correct in stating that without significant socialization, it would most likely be unable to detect this itself.

mnb Re:Won't make a real human. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400647)

Spirit?
The url is science.slashdot.org, not mythology.slashdot.org.

Re:Won't make a real human. (4, Funny)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400606)

I agree. It's shear lunacy.

Oryx and Crake (1)

shmigget (459421) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400434)

This is way too close to Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake [amazon.com] for comfort. Not a good book by her usual standards (not in the same class as A Handmade's Tale [amazon.com] ) but still really disturbing in parts.

Two questions: (1)

NeuroManson (214835) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400435)

1: If you eat any of these chimera animals, does that technically make you a cannibal?

2: In the event that chimera hybrids accidentally make it into the food chain, does that mean that humans have a higher risk of contracting spongiform encephalopathy (if, for example, the nervous system/brains of said critters are even a small percentile human)?

sheep with human brains (2, Funny)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400438)

"Liiisssaaaa, don't eeeaaatttt meeeeee."

If you kill it, it'll stop creeping you out by talking. :)

Anyone remember the song, "Cows With Guns"?

Re:sheep with human brains (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400592)

You forgot to take your lithium

Uhhh (5, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400446)

the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice's behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior.

You know when considering a solution to that particular ethical dilemma that wasn't the first idea that came to mind...

Same thing we do every night... (4, Funny)

jpatters (883) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400455)

"Stanford law professor Hank Greely, who chaired the ethics committee, said the board was satisfied that the size and shape of the mouse brain would prevent the human cells from creating any traits of humanity. Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice's behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior."

OK, I can just see it now:

"Same thing we do every night, Pinky, try to take over the" [splat!]

Re:Same thing we do every night... (1)

PainBot (844233) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400707)

This post is "informative", huh ?

Talking of chimeras... (1)

Divlje Jagode (710824) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400463)

Last night, I dreamt of this zebra that jumped of a plane and landed on a ski slope upsidedown... on its horns. It then slided downhill wiggling its legs around.

Me wife told me "good thing it was a zebra and not a unicorn, otherwise it'd just got stuck in the snow"

... nevermind :-)

SHeep with brains.. (1)

dosle (794546) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400466)

sheep with brains [bestmessageboardever.com] are not neccessarily smart. :D

Pop-science reporting is fun (2, Insightful)

Joe Tie. (567096) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400476)

It's always fun to see how the reporters particular bias will come accross.

He can't wait to examine the effects of the human cells he had injected into the fetus' brain about two months ago. "It's mice on a large scale," Chamberlain says with a shrug. As strange as his work may sound, it falls firmly within the new ethics guidelines

They've allready painted him as a mad scientist, eagerly rubbing his hands together in glee over having fought Gods plan. All the while shrugging his shoulders at the cocern of the good people of the world.

Re:Pop-science reporting is fun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400512)

"They wanted to stop my work and said I was mad! Bah, I say! Baaaaah!"

How long before... (1)

happymedium (861907) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400503)

...live action Disney movies? ...Animal Farm???

Centaur (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400504)

My girlfriend wants me to become a centaur...

I don't know why....

As the fine folk at fark.com observed... (5, Funny)

wfberg (24378) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400511)

Injecting human DNA into sheep is nothing new to lonely shepherds..

www.gotSheep.com (1)

purduephotog (218304) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400525)

My website says it all.

GotSheep?

(The NYS DMV cancelled my plates on my car- GOTSH33P - and the reason given was "They are illegal, immoral, and sexually perverse".

Sheep with human brain (2, Funny)

konkani (761433) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400544)

In Soviet Russia, the sheep count you!

Human brains (-1, Offtopic)

subl33t (739983) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400545)

Hmm, sheep with human brains.

They already exist.

Anyone who voted for a Democrat or Republican. Anyone who takes the words of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter or Michael Moore as gospel. Anyone who ever gave money to a church.

I for one... (1)

TheVidiot (549995) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400554)

welcome our uhhh... what the fuck?!

That can't be right... (2)

OmgTEHMATRICKS (836103) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400588)

Just in case, Greely said, the committee recommended closely monitoring the mice's behavior and immediately killing any that display human-like behavior. If they DO start behaving like humans and have vastly increased intellect, wouldn't this be considered murder? Wait.. I forgot.. Mice ARE more intelligent than men. So are dolphins. Nevermind. It would be a priviledge to the mice to be put out of their misery. All jokes aside, seriously, if they are "human" in consciousness and intelligence, killing them because they're "human" would be murder. It's also rather ironic if you think about it.

growing the brain isn't enough (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400599)

they should build a sheep with human vocal cords, if that's possible.. shorten/lengthen the trachea/throat, whatever is necessary to make it possible for these hybrid monsters the ability to learn speech. Now that would be cool. Hopefully they'll be capable of reproduction as well.

Modded Sheep? (1)

Pmkool1 (827418) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400617)

I guess people must have got tired of modding their computer/cases, because now they are trying to mod sheep!

Just think, having a case window on a sheep, you could see the inside of the sheep.
Maybe let the sheep swallow some blue led's.
You could have a blue glowing sheep with a case window!

Maybe put an led fan on it's butt, to vent the hot air?

What about overclocking it? Now that would be weird!

The voyage is long (2, Funny)

Vengeance (46019) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400631)

and sheep have many uses

Great! (1)

Leers (159585) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400659)

I have been looking at more ethical ways to supply my craving for...I mean, uh, this is horrible. Who's responsible for this madness, I need to get their contact information to arrange a, um, protest.

Psalm v0.23 (1)

Flwyd (607088) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400677)

The scientist is my shepherd
He makes me lie down on the examining table...

modded sheep (1)

beatnitup (616700) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400678)

"These heavily modded sheep are growning human-like organs such as livers, hearts, and blood." yeah but can they run unassigned code?

Conflicted (4, Insightful)

donnyfire (679042) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400706)

I have to say, as a medical student, that I am quite excited about the possibilities presented by this type of research. To be able to conduct research on tissue systems that are more human will provide better models for treatment of disease in humans. Thus making medicine more effective and safer. That being said, I am appalled at the prospect of ANY form of human hervous system running around in ANY other type of creature. True, it could provide tremendous insight into how the human brain works. However, it is my belief that the brian is the center of our humanity. It is the seat of who we are as a species, and is unique in the world. To artificially develop this type of tissue in an animal mode really seems to be an ethical misjudgement. A public backlash to this type of research could jeopardize research in general, which would be a disservice to the scientific community.

Honestly ... (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#12400712)

... I was just helping those sheep over the fence. What, one's pregnant and i'm the daddy? Ewe shitting me, right?

Go back to writing about run-away brides (3, Interesting)

John Newman (444192) | more than 9 years ago | (#12400728)

Every once in a while you read a story that seems to have been written by a science writer with at least a quarter of a clue, and then you find that one fateful line that reaffirms the proper order of things: that science writers are complete idiots who have no business writing about science:
First, human stem cells were injected into bacteria, then mice and now sheep.
We inject human stem cells into single-celled prokaryotes that are probably less than one-thousandth the volume of a stem cell? I'd like to see that trick. The writer presumably confused human stem cells with human DNA, and probably wouldn't know the difference if it were pointed out to him/her, anyway.

I despair of scientific literacy in this country.
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