New Frankensteins: Brit Scientists Want to Create Human-Cow Embryos
by Jim Kouri, CPP
A team of British scientists from the Newcastle University and Kings College in London, England have asked the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority for a three-year license to create embryos by fusing human DNA with cow eggs, according to the Times of London.
The researchers claim that the hybrid human-cow embryos would be used to conduct stem cell studies. The embryos would not be allowed to develop for more than a few days, but they did not say who would enforce such a time limit.
Many critics within the scientific and religious communities have characterized the development of a human-cow embryo as "unethical and potentially dangerous."
According to the British press, Liberal Democrat Dr. Evan Harris, a member of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee said, "If human benefit can be derived by perfecting therapeutic cloning techniques or from research into subsequently-derived stem cells, then it would actually be immoral to prevent it just because of a 'yuck' factor."
But Dr. Calum MacKellar, from the Scottish Council on Human Bioethics, countered Dr. Evans by saying the research is undermining the distinction between humans and animals.
He said, "In the history of humankind, animals and human species have been separated. In this kind of procedure, you are mixing at a very intimate level animal eggs and human chromosomes, and you may begin to undermine the whole distinction between humans and animals."
Scientists all over the world have been claiming that stem cell research is the most promising areas of medical science which could eventually lead to cures for diseases such as Parkinson's Disease, strokes and Alzheimer's Disease. However, several US scientists have said that embryonic stem cell research is not the most beneficial.
According to the London Times article, researchers need thousands of embryos for their study. In contrast, human eggs for research are in short supply and women have to undergo surgery to obtain them.
Scientists are asking the British government to allow them to use cows' eggs as substitute.
Under the process, human DNA would be inserted into a cow's egg which has had its genetic material removed, and then create an embryo using the same technique used in the development of Dolly the Sheep.
Researchers claim the result is an embryo that would be 99.9 percent human.
Jim Kouri, CPP is currently fifth vice-president of the National Association of Chiefs of Police. He's former chief at a New York City housing project in Washington Heights nicknamed "Crack City" by reporters covering the drug war in the 1980s. In addition, he served as director of public safety at a New Jersey university and director of security for a number of organizations. He's also served on the National Drug Task Force and trained police and security officers throughout the country. He writes for many police and crime magazines including Chief of Police, Police Times, The Narc Officer, Campus Law Enforcement Journal, and others. He's appeared as on-air commentator for over 100 TV and radio news and talk shows including Oprah, McLaughlin Report, CNN Headline News, MTV, Fox News, etc. His book Assume The Position is available at Amazon.Com, Booksamillion.com, and can be ordered at local bookstores. Kouri holds a bachelor of science in criminal justice and master of arts in public administration and he's a board certified protection professional.