Sen. Brownback Leads Fight against Human-Animal Hybrids

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Vowing to protect the “dignity and sacredness of human life,” Republican U.S. Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas is sponsoring legislation that would ban the creation of genetically-spliced humans and animals. “Creating human-animal hybrids, which permanently alter the genetic makeup of an organism, will challenge the very definition of what it means to be human and is a violation of human dignity and a grave injustice,” Brownback declared last week in a prepared statement announcing the introduction of the Human-Animal Hybrid Prohibition Act of 2009.

Brownback is taking aim at laboratory experiments by scientists known as Chimeras, genetically engineered creatures that have DNA of more than one species. In some instances, scientists overseas have fused human DNA with that of rabbits, sheep, cows and mice, while the Mayo Clinic created pigs with human blood and Stanford researchers placed human brain cells into mice to study treatments for neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease. The point of the experiments is to expand the availability of human organs, stem cells or hormones for medical purposes or to have human-like lab specimens for disease research.
Democrats in Kansas have accused Brownback, who’s running for governor, of trying to ban mermaids. “In all seriousness, this is a colossal waste of time,” says Chris Harris of Media Matters. “As both an American and a Kansan, I can confidently say that the potential future existence of mermaids and minotaurs are not a pressing concern... for anyone.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff
Making Manimals (by William Saletan, Washington Post)


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