BOSTON, Aug 24, 2001 ( – Diane Cox, who chairs the medical genetics department at the University of Alberta contends that the public perception, and ethical considerations on genetic research are far behind the actual research practices. To illustrate the point, Edmonton Journal columnist Scott Foster points out in an article in Wednesday’s National Post that animal-human hybrids have been created, lived and have been permitted to develop till the 32-cell stage. “Right now, technology is way ahead of ethics. The Canadian population is worried enough about relatively trivial things, let alone such a bizarre concept,” says Cox.

Foster points out that “such experiments have become public only when the makers of hybrids, who fund their operations through investor capital, apply to patent their inventions.” Cow-human and pig-human hybrids have been created and were reported on by LifeSite in November 1998 and October 2000 respectively. Using human cells and a hollowed-out cow and pig ovum, the creatures created would be mostly human but contain some mitochondrial DNA from the animals.

Jeremy Rifkin, biotechnology critic and president of the Washington-based Foundation on Economic Trends commented on the studies saying, “This suggests that we can create new human-animal species . [it is] the most extraordinary single development in the history of biotechnology.”

See Foster’s article in the National Post:

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