Human-Rabbit Chimeral Embryos Created
The Washington Post reports here that human-animal chimeras have recently been created by Chinese scientists. The embryos have the nuclear DNA of a human, with the mitochondrial DNA of a rabbit. It is unknown if the embryo could survive to term if implanted into a human mother.The purpose of the experiments was to provide a means for harvesting stem cells from the embryos. Scientists in the States had previously attempted mixing human cells with cow eggs, but were not successful.
The potential creation of chimeral human-animal beings has sparked much ethical debate in science, where the idea of manipulating the human genome has long been taboo.