More on chimeras

A reader sez:

What concerns me is that work with chimeras involving human cells constitutes potential exploitation of or manipulation of the human germ line. ( Animal breeders have been working with chimeras for years, for example in sheep-goat hybrids).

Some years ago, during a question and answer session with Francis Collins, director of the Human Genome Project at NIH (I was there), he acknowledged that intervention in the human germ line is extremely worrying. He’s a Methodist minister, btw.

Chimerization of the human germ line goes to the central issue of human identity, and the fundamental integrity of the person.

There was a recent very general statement by Cardinal Ratzinger in which he said that genetic engineering is the most serious threat to humanity at present.

He’s right, I believe. IVF and even cloning are skirmishes. Chimeras are the main event.


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