Chimeras, Hybrids, and Interspecies Research
Politics and Policymaking
Publication Year: 2009
Published by: Georgetown University Press
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List of Tables and Figures
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I am especially grateful to Northern Illinois University for its program of Presidential Research Professorships. Receipt of one of these awards provided the budgetary support and released time that enabled me to write this book. Without the award, it would not have been written. I also extend grateful acknowledgment...
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At issue in this book are studies that combine genes, gametes, embryos, or embryonic stem (ES) cells from human and nonhuman species at the earliest stages of development. What is here called early interspecies research (ISR) involves the shared presence of human and/or animal embryos and ES cells in...
Chapter 1. Chimeras
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The image of the mythological chimera, a “symbolic monster composed of incongruous parts,” orients our minds to the idea of mixed parts coddled together (Anker and Nelkin 2004, 82). Although chimeras in ancient Greece were regarded as “dangerous, formidable, and powerful beasts, representing fantastic yet uncivilized...
Chapter 2. Hybrids
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The idea of a hybrid is a powerful symbol, and the animal-human hybrid is a particularly well-known metaphor for research run amok. The thought of hybrids gives skeptics reasons to be wary about biotechnology; for example, in a 2004 report the President’s Council on Bioethics (PCB) urged a “bright line” to be drawn...
Chapter 3. Cybrids, Cross-Species Embryo Transfer, and Transgenics
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While researching his daughter's mysterious disease that brought with it seizures and kidney breakdown, James Reston Jr. noticed this headline in the New York Times: “Human-Cow Hybrid Cells Are Topic of Ethics Panel” (Reston 2006, 183). Looking for answers for his daughter, Reston responded with bafflement...
Chapter 4. Beliefs about Interspecies Interventions
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Why does early interspecies research (ISR) matter? What accounts for the animus by some and largely silent acceptance by others? Understanding some of the bases for conflicting views helps indicate how early ISR is political in the way it attracts attention, elicits emotion, and prompts action to protect values...
Conclusion: Is Early Interspecies Research Fundamentally Distinct?
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What are we to make of the place of “animal-human hybrids” in bioethics and policy? Hybrids, along with genetic alterations, cloning, and ectogenesis (artificial uterus), entered the literature of bioethics and policy in the 1970s as a metaphor for unleashed biotechnology. This metaphor continues today: “Some transforming...
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Page Count: 184
Publication Year: 2009