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The Raider Review

The Raider Review

The Student News Site of Saint Thomas Aquinas High School

The Raider Review

The Raider Review

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The Next Step in Human Evolution or Ethical Dilemma?

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A chimera is a hybrid organism formed by monkey and human cells.  There have been many tests on how to make chimeras since the 1960s for biomedical research. In 2023, a new and controversial chimera was created by a Spanish scientist named Miguel Angel and Chinese researchers stationed in China. They made a primate hybrid by injecting a monkey embryo with another distinct monkey’s stem cells. According to the South China Morning Post, it was the first chimeric monkey embryo to be made from stem cells and has a historically high amount of cells from a stem cell line. 

The Creation of the Chimera

Miguel Angel Esteban and other Scientists from the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health performed twelve experimental pregnancies, only six monkeys birthed offspring; from those offsprings, only one appeared to be a true chimera. The one chimeric born creature was confirmed to be a chimera through tests such as a fluorescent protein label test and gene sequencing test. Chimeras were created in order to study the early embryo development of humans during the first  weeks of fertilization. Up until now, information has been limited through lab models of rodents or other animals, but little is known about humans. Chimeras also could provide aid in the research on Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. Sadly, only after ten days of life, the chimera was euthanized due to respiratory failures and hypothermia.  

The Ethical Discourse of Animal Experiments 

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In biomedical research, a major issue is whether or not animals, like monkeys, should be used in experiments. One reason why this is a very topical issue in science is because of animal suffering. Another concern is whether or not combining human cells and non-human cells to an embryo to make a chimera is ethical or not. Some people believe that it is necessary to achieve advancements for the ultimate good of society; however, others argue that experimenting on innocent animals is inherently cruel. Although animal testing can be deemed unethical if these experiments can save and aid thousands of lives, maybe even millions, does the end justify the means?

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