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luigirovatti's avatar

(Not for the faint of heart) What do you think about chimeras?

Asked by luigirovatti (1905points) 1 month ago

With the recent advance of genetic science, it’s been possible to combine the genetic codes of 2 preceding species, a hybrid, if you will.

It happens in nature quite a lot, but the more separated the 2 species are from their common ancestors, the less likely they are to be able to produce offspring.

Such interspecies are made in the laboratory by transplanting embryonic cells from an animal with 1 trait into the embryo of an animal with a different trait. This practice is common in the field.

Whatever the aim, the procedure would be highly illegal. In 2003, researchers at the Shanghai Second Medical University in China successfully fused human skin cells and dead rabbit eggs to create the first human chimeric embryos.

The embryos were allowed to develop for several days in a laboratory setting, then destroyed to harvest the resulting stem cells. They could absolutely produce another species with the right materials, though there would be obstacles to overcome.

The immune system would need to be repressed. Then, the sperm and eggs of differing species won’t recognize each other, and the number of chromosomes won’t match, which will prevent effective fertilization. They would need to acquire stem cells, or at least culture cells using host or donor cells.

If they fertilized human eggs that had had their nucleus replaced with foreign stem cells, they could possibly create an embryo to implant into a host. They could use bone-marrow stem cells from the species to clone.

From those cells all the various types of blood cells are descended, and using a laboratory can give rise to even non-marrow cells.

Whole cell or animal cloning occurs through the transfer of the nucleus of an adult cell into an enucleated egg. This can result in the reprogramming of the adult cell DNA to produce a cloned animal.

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3 Answers

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
KNOWITALL's avatar

It’s interesting to contemplate our choices and the results. Minus any ethical dilemma’s.

raum's avatar

I think you’ve been reading too much sci-fi fantasy. :P

However, it so happens that I have a tab open on fetal microchimerism. Which is an actual thing and, IMO, quite interesting.

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