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VampyricAcid
SILVER Member since Jun 2005

VampyricAcid

veteran
Location: My House

Total posts: 1286
Posted:After hearing about this i wondered how you all felt about this particular case. from what i understand 2 labs in england, one in London and one in (i think) Nottingham have applied for permission to experiment on using human DNA and cow cells to create tailormade stem cells that could be used to make organs that have an extremely low, if not zero, chance of rejection from the patient as it is their own DNA

"In the proposed stem cell research, although the animal egg has been emptied of its nuclei, tiny amounts of mitochondrial DNA would mix with the human nuclei and the resulting stems cells would be about 99.9% human and 0.1% animal"

Now the arguements against it come from 2 sources, the first, is that it blurs the line between Human and Animal, the second comes from the pro-life people saying as soon as the cow's egg is fertilised it is a life, and therefore murder to kill it.

Now, I for one can see no problem with these experiments, if i need a liver transplant, and they can give me one that is 99.9% me and 0.1% cow im not going to complain, if i am horrifically burnt and need a skin graft, im not going to say no if they offer to grow me new skin that is the same proportions (genetically). Morally i am in two minds, "When does life begin" vs "How many people could this save" but neither of those i can provide answers for.

Where do the rest of you stand?




(can i also mention tehehehe "Sheep + Goat = Geep")


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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:do you have a source for this? I'd like to find out how the mitochondrial DNA would get into the nucleus, and if there naturally is an exchange of DNA between nucleus and mitochondria, too. I would've thought there wasn't since the mitochondrial DNA is (as far as I know... not a big fan of genetic though!) highly conserved.

I also would've thought it contains very little DNA, so that in order to get to 0.1% of total DNA in the nucleus, quite a big proportion of the mitochondrial DNA would've had to be transferred.

So in other words, are you sure it's 0.1 % bovine DNA in the nucleus, or is that in the cell?

On a side note (again as far as I know), the DNA in the mitochondria codes for proteins that are mitochondrial, too, so if there were bovine mitochondria in an otherwise human cell that wouldn't be much of a problem.

Given that there's been experimentation with whole animal organs before, animals are used to generate vaccines, and for example insulins were porcine before genetic engineering allowed human insulins to be produced by bacteria, I wouldn't see much of a problem. After all, the DNA wouldn't just wander round the body and get into sperm/eggs (ignoring the fact that MOST organs go to people past their reproductive phase anyway).

Morally I would choose the human over the animal.


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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newgabe
SILVER Member since Mar 2005

newgabe

what goes around comes around. unless you're into stalls.
Location: Bali

Total posts: 4030
Posted:goat + leek = geek

.....Can't juggle balls but I sure as hell can juggle details....

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_Clare_
BRONZE Member since Oct 2002

_Clare_

Still wiggling
Location: Belfast

Total posts: 5967
Posted:ubblol

Getting to the other side smile

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KaelGotRice
GOLD Member since Jul 2003

KaelGotRice

Basu gasu bakuhatsu - because sometimes buses explode
Location: Angel's Landing, USA

Total posts: 1584
Posted:The Brits now have the ability to create Taurens!

>.>

*wonders if anyone gets geeky reference and goes back to playing video games


To do: More Firedrums 08 video?
Wildfire/US East coast fire footage
LA/EDC glow/fire footage
Fresno fire

<img src="/ubbthreads/images/graemlins/ubbrollsmile.gif" alt="" />

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted:I don't think it could ever be used for creating organs, but for practical reasons relating to the compatability of cow eggs and human dna. I may very well be proved wrong of course.

I've no moral objections to anything related to human or chimeric tissue. The value of human life comes from sensation and experience (and other fluffy things), not from the chemicals and cells that make it up.

As for blurring the distinction between human and animal life, as a vegetarian, I say: good.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Domino
SILVER Member since May 2004

UnNatural Scientist - Currently working on a Breville-legged monkey
Location: Bath Uni or Shrewsbury, UK

Total posts: 757
Posted: Written by: VampyricAcid


the first, is that it blurs the line between Human and Animal



There's a line?


Give me a lever long enough and a place to stand and I can beat the world into submission.

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UCOF
SILVER Member since Apr 2002

UCOF

Carpal \'Tunnel


Total posts: 15414
Posted:I got it Kael! I hunt trolls. I am a.... (fill in the blank) wink



simian will get it too. He is one ubblol


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Flamez
BRONZE Member since Jun 2006

Flamez

member
Location: Cape Town The Mother City

Total posts: 56
Posted:This scares me, maby because i read to many books.
There is this book called Chromosome 6 (dont know the author) Where the experimented like this with Bonobos(closer to humans than chimps are), in order to create donor organs for people. You could pay a certain amount of money, then this little monkey with your DNA would run around africa untill you need a transplant. Well long story short, at the end of the day they created a "caveman".

Yeah, I think I read to many books...


"My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely."

"Insanity is my only means of relaxation."

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Dr_Molly


Dr_Molly

Pooh-Bah
Location: Away from home

Total posts: 2354
Posted:Birgit - mitochondria are in the cytoplasm, not the nucleus. I think it was just worded confusingly by the BBC. smile

Mitochondria are also evolved from what were once symbiotic bacteria so we're all freakish conglomerations of different beasties anyway biggrin


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Birgit
BRONZE Member since Jan 2005

Birgit

had her carpal tunnel surgery already thanks v much
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 4145
Posted:I know they're in the cytoplasm and the whole endosymbiotic stuff tongue

That's why I was wondering how come the DNA could be mixed up!


"vices are like genitals - most are ugly to behold, and yet we find that our own are dear to us."
(G.W. Dahlquist)

Owner of Dragosani's left half

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jeff(fake)


jeff(fake)

Scientist of Fortune
Location: Edinburgh

Total posts: 1189
Posted: Written by: Flamez

Bonobos(closer to humans than chimps are)


*Silently shakes his head to signify this statement is incorrect*

Pygmy chimps and regular chimps are equally close to humans. Then again they might make better organ hosts for different reasons.


According to Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle of Quantum Dynamics, we may already be making love right now...

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Motley
GOLD Member since Oct 2005

Motley

addict
Location: UK

Total posts: 434
Posted:The lines between animal and human were blurred as soon as we started to compare animal DNA and human DNA, people were shocked to say the least at the numbers of genes in "small insignificant" animals compared to man, e.g. nematode worms, drosophila, i forget the numbers, and actually there were a lot of different numbers flying around at the time but suffice to say humans do not have many more genes than animals considered much less evolved than ourselves.

Concerning the other points in the OP this probably refers to the total amount of DNA in the resulting cell. There may be some confusion over the word "mixing" and whether there actually would be an intermingling of mitochondrial and nuclear DNA I am unsure, it may be just an illustration of the fact that there would be an element of non human DNA in the cell be it in the nucleus or the mitochondria. Ethically I would have no issues with this as mitochondria, as Birgit already illuded to are highly conserved (though I have no idea how much sequence homology there is between "animal" and human mDNA.

Jeff, I agree that this is a long way off but it certainly looks like a key step on the way to "sucess". I believe only recently a small (about the size of your thumb) "liver" made from human stem cells was grown in vitro, of course with this approach you have the whole issue of growing the supporting tissue matrix (blood vessels, collagen, bile duct) to go with it, i rather suspect that at this stage it was just a homogenous mass of hepatocytes (I didnt read the paper) rather than a functioning liver but it is progress none the less

hmm... just wrote an essay ubblol sorry redface

Motley


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Flamez
BRONZE Member since Jun 2006

Flamez

member
Location: Cape Town The Mother City

Total posts: 56
Posted: Written by: jeff(fake)


 Written by: Flamez

Bonobos(closer to humans than chimps are)


*Silently shakes his head to signify this statement is incorrect*

Pygmy chimps and regular chimps are equally close to humans. Then again they might make better organ hosts for different reasons.



Sorry, that's what they said in the book. Told ya, I read to many books redface


"My mind not only wanders, sometimes it leaves completely."

"Insanity is my only means of relaxation."

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