Chimera Essay

960 words - 4 pages

Rethinking humanity
Chimera is a term not many people have heard of before. Some may know it but confuse it with hybrids. A chimera is single organism, usually an animal but can be human as well, which is composed by at least two different sets of DNA. It can also be a fusion of many different zygotes (fertilised eggs). Chimeras are formed by at least four parent cells; two fertilised eggs or embryos fused together. The individual cells keep its own character. This resolves in an organism with different tissues. It is often animals experiments are done on but it can also occur naturally. In “I, chimera” from BBC Focus 2007 they describe how that can happen. According to Henry Nicholls, an author and science writer, the natural occurrence of Chimeras happen during pregnancy. Microchimerasm (Mc) is when the presence of a small number of blood cells from the foetus escapes across the placenta and runs into the mother's circulation. The foetal cells may stay in the circulation for decades and there is a possibility of passing the cells on to a future offspring. If we were to create an animal-Chimera the procedure would not be that difficult. According to the article perviously mentioned an embryo can e.g. get injected or under go an aggregation. Though the embryonic cells have to come from different origins. If it should be compared to a hybrid the difference is not that big but still a crucial element to separate these to creatures. A hybrid is the result of cross breading to animals. The cross breading usually happen between different but closely related species. If a horse and donkey reproduce the outcome will be mule. The cells from the horse and donkey will have genetic blend. But if a Chimera from a horse and donkey would reproduce, some of its cells would be pure donkey and pure horse. The sex cells could be either or both.
Most part-human and part-animal have always resided in to the realms of fiction and folklore. Recently, however, new genetic research have proved that it also resides in to the realms of reality. The advances in genetic engineering and microsurgery has developed in such a way that theses human-nonhuman-Chimeras can come to life. The ethical problem lies in the vague border between humans and animals. The advances of interspecies Chimeras and the prospect of an organism that are a mixture of human and animal are becoming deeply troubling.
In greek mythology a Chimera was a monster part human, part goat and part serpent. Although todays laboratory bred Chimeras are totally different, they may also be unavoidable if we are to study stem cells. Research has to be conducted to find out the behaviour and chemical reactions which happens within us and our stem cells. It is of cause unless researchers have to make the...

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