• June 24, 2024

Federal Agency Under Obama Admin Plans to Legalize What?

The federal government announced Thursday that they plan to lift a moratorium on funding of certain controversial, inhumane, and immoral experiments that use human stem cells, to create animal embryos that are part human.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proposed that the new policy that would permit scientists to get federal money, American tax-dollars, to make embryos, known as chimeras, under so-called certain carefully monitored conditions.

The NIH halted funding these experiments back in September 2015 because they could raise ethical concerns.

One issue that raises concerns is that scientists might inadvertently create animals that have partly human brains, endowing them with some semblance of human consciousness or human thinking abilities. Another is that they could develop into animals with human sperm and eggs and breed, producing human embryos or fetuses inside animals or hybrid creatures.

On their website, NIH stated that with recent advances in stem cell and gene editing technologies, an increasing number of researchers are interested in growing human tissues and organs in animals by introducing pluripotent human cells into early animal embryos. Formation of these types of human-animal organism, referred to as “chimeras”, holds tremendous potential for disease modeling, drug testing, and perhaps eventual organ transplant. However, uncertainty about the effects of human cells on off-target organs and tissues in the chimeric animals, particularly in the nervous system, raises ethical and animal welfare concerns.

NIH is seeking public comment on the proposed scope of the chimera research to be considered by the NIH steering committee. The committee will focus on the experimental design and likely nature of the chimeric animal model. The committee’s work will be independent of the peer review process. This committee will also monitor new developments in this field and provide analysis and advice to NIH leadership as needed.

Federal Agency Under Obama Admin Plans to Legalize What?
Federal Agency Under Obama Admin Plans to Legalize What?

The Daily Caller reported that a poll released last week by Pew Research that indicated that Americans are currently more worried than enthusiastic about using gene editing to create modified humans and as to why the Obama administration and the NIH would even think that public views have changed.

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