Radiolab

Navigate
Return Home

Easter Chimera

Monday, March 24, 2008 - 06:27 PM

Over the Easter weekend, a Catholic Church in Scotland found itself listening to a sermon that discussed some of the very same issues we raised in our So-Called Life show. Of course, the context was a bit different... but the questions raised were similar: Are we allowed to tinker with life?

A BBC article reports that Cardinal Keith O'Brien-- the leader of Scotland's Catholic Church--criticized the current legislation that is under debate in the UK to allow the creation of animal-human embryos for medical research. As the BBC writes:

Cardinal O'Brien described the legislation as a 'monstrous attack on human rights, human dignity and human life', adding that it would allow experiments of 'Frankenstein proportion'.

But Lord Robert Winston, who is a professor of fertility studies at the Hammersmith Hospital in London, and a Labour peer, warned that the Cardinal's statements were 'misleading.' It's interesting the way Winston critiques the Cardinal's statement. It's not simply that he disagrees with the Cardinal, so much as he worries that the Cardinal is inaccurately portraying the nature of what human-animal stem cells are.

Tags:

More in:

Comments [5]

carmen C Moreno

That is why children are not allowed to play with matches, because they'll burn the house down. These 'mentally young' people playing around with the DNA, blueprints of life, adding a 'minty smell' to E-coli, a germ purposely designed with an awful smell to warn us humans not to eat it, is not only dangerous, it is downright wrong!!! It is only a matter of time before even the food we eat will be poisonous to humans.

Mar. 30 2008 10:23 AM
Stephanie

Ah, thanks :) The date at the link you posted said Friday, March 14, 2008, and I didn't account for lagtime.

Mar. 26 2008 02:56 PM
Radiolab

soon stephanie! soon! "So Called Life" will be released on April 8th.

Mar. 25 2008 07:28 AM
Stephanie

ITunes still does not have this episode! Sadness!

Mar. 25 2008 01:15 AM
Jason Root

Brilliant program. One thing I will add that I don't necessarily think you mentioned. You talked about the fusion of a chimp with a human, but what about fusions that bring up the human species. Inserting the sense of smell of a dog, eyes of an eagle, muscle makeup of a cheetah. (Sonar?) If you still retained the outward look of a human (although the eyes might look different) you would give a whole new meaning to eugenics. The one that would scare me would be an insert that gave you a modified immune system. We would then create super virus that would endanger the rest of humanity that hadn't been enhanced.

Again, brilliant program....

Mar. 24 2008 07:05 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Supported by

Feeds