The Phoenix

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Even Dr. Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker Wouldn't Try This

British scientists want to create hybrid embryos in the lab by fusing human cells with rabbit eggs. They will use the embryos to produce stem cells that carry genetic defects in order to better understand the complex mechanisms behind incurable human diseases. They probably also want to see if they can create rabbits capable of singing Beatles' songs.

Plans for the experiments have been proposed by Professor Chris Shaw, a neurologist and expert in motor neurone disease at King's College London, and Professor Ian Wilmut, the Edinburgh University-based creator of Dolly the sheep. They say creating the rabbit-human hybrids is necessary because of the shortage of human eggs available for research.

"The fertility of rabbits is legendary," said Shaw. "The most important thing is that with animal eggs, we have a much better chance of generating stem cells and if we wait for human eggs, it's going to be maybe a decade before we can do this. If we can use animal eggs, we could maybe have stem cells within one or two years," he added.

If the researchers are granted consent, they won't be the first to fuse human cells with rabbit eggs. In 2003, Huizhen Sheng at Shanghai Second Medical University published work in which she claimed to have extracted stem cells from hybrid embryos made from rabbit eggs.

So how will they do it?

To make a hybrid embryo, a human skin cell would be taken from a person with motor neurone disease and injected into a hollowed-out rabbit egg. The resulting embryo would contain only a tiny amount of rabbit DNA in a microscopic structure that generates energy in the cell. The rest of the DNA would be human. Within a week or so, the egg will have divided to form a tiny ball of a 200 or so cells, from which stem cells could be extracted. "They will never grow beyond the 200 cell stage and they will have no human features," said Prof Shaw.

Many scientists question the ethics involved here.

Josephine Quintavalle of Comment on Reproductive Ethics said: "There is a lot of innate wisdom in the yuk factor, or repugnance as it is also known. My question is: what will they actually create? It is simplistic or deliberately deceptive to say they are simply making stem cells. In order to obtain stem cells they surely have to go through the blastocyst stage; they have to create a 'something' from which to derive the new cells. What is this something? It must be human to be of any use to researchers."

I'm not a scientist, Mr. Quintavalle, but I know exactly what that SOMETHING is going to be:

I did a post back in August on something similar. Read it here: Teenage Mutant Ninja HUMANS?


Blogger PDD said...

Interesting. I call my husband "bunny" and always say when we have children they are going to be half rabit half human. This is the truth. He even wiggles his nose for me when he wants something...

I often picure giving birth to a little baby bunny rabit. This is the truth. I tear up every time.

1/18/2006 8:24 AM  
Blogger BrianAlt said...

Someone said that the last pic in a post is always of you. So is it true? Are you really Bugs Bunny? How cool! I love Bugs!

1/18/2006 8:52 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

I'd much rather be Bugs Bunny than that weirdo wearing the transparent poncho in the rain.

1/18/2006 8:55 AM  
Blogger angel, jr. said...

Yeah,I think Bugs Bunny would end up being the hybrid created.

1/18/2006 9:32 AM  
Blogger BrianAlt said...

I don't think that's a transparent poncho. I think it's Saran wrap. Bleh.

1/18/2006 10:11 AM  
Blogger cube said...

Yeah, but how are you going to keep these hybrids from raiding the carrots?

1/18/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger Jay said...

Hmm. I think somebody should read Oryx & Crake.

1/18/2006 10:28 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

The result probably would be humans with ears that touch the ceiling. And a fondness for things long and orange. Oh yes, and outrageous sex drives.

-- david

1/18/2006 10:32 AM  
Blogger Jamie Dawn said...

That is some crazy-weird stuff.
Hybrid bunny-men. How interesting.
Bugs Bunny is very clever and witty. There is no guarantee that we would end up with a Bugs Bunny.
If this hybrid bunny-man goes to term, we would have to brace ourselves for the possibility of Roger Rabbit.

1/18/2006 10:33 AM  
Blogger PDD said...

David, you have just described some of todays Vietnamese children affected by water and vegitation still contaminated with agent orange. Seriously.

1/18/2006 10:48 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Roger Rabbit with an outrageous sex drive? Oh man...the horrors!

1/18/2006 10:50 AM  
Blogger KC said...

Always entertaining.

Maybe we'd end up with Jimmy Stewart/Harvey.

1/18/2006 11:26 AM  
Blogger siren said...

It always amazes me that scientists are in this great hurry to create mutant humans. It seems we have enough naturally occuring ones to suffice.

1/18/2006 11:54 AM  
Blogger Ben Heller said...

This stuff just makes me hopping mad.

Why do they keep messing with this stuff ? Dolly the sheep died prematurely because her immune system was insufficient to survive.

I wish they'd spend all this money on something far more useful, like curing cancer, or even finding an anti-dote for Avian Flu.

1/18/2006 12:03 PM  
Blogger Dirk the Feeble said...

I believe the 'something' is going to be a light beer that both tastes great and is less filling.

1/18/2006 12:20 PM  
Blogger Pixie said...

This is just So So ..........wrong( and silly)

1/18/2006 12:22 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1/18/2006 3:07 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hugh Hefner did the same thing years ago, and made enough money to buy a whole bunch of bathrobes.

old bunny home

1/18/2006 3:08 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Hugh Hefner has built a human/bunny empire. He shows off their cotton tails.

1/18/2006 3:24 PM  
Anonymous the weirdgirl said...

Hey, I thought the only rabbit that could lay eggs was the Easter... OH MY GOD! They're experimenting on the EASTER BUNNY?!? WHEN DID THEY CATCH HIM?!

(I foresee a sharp decline of Cadbury Creme Eggs in the future.)

1/18/2006 4:07 PM  
Blogger Laura:) said...

Very interesting. I got caught looking at other articles within articles. I had totally forgotten about

1/18/2006 4:45 PM  
Blogger Keshi said...

hmmm this sounds a bit Rabbity lol!

**They probably also want to see if they can create rabbits capable of singing Beatles' songs.

~~It's been a hard day's night
And I've been working like a bunny


Crazy scientists...


1/18/2006 7:02 PM  
Blogger Crazy Dan said...

Instead of curing anything they are going to find an even better viagra pill hopefully one that doesn't make you go blind.

1/18/2006 10:47 PM  
Blogger :P fuzzbox said...

I shudder to think of women with the fertility of rabbits.

1/18/2006 11:01 PM  
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1/18/2006 11:06 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

the resulting lucky rabbits' feet are going to be way to big to be key chains

1/18/2006 11:19 PM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Rabbits and humans??? Oh my God....that is just plain scary.

1/19/2006 7:09 AM  
Blogger FantasticAlice said...

That is absolutely bizarre.

Thank you Mr. Phoenix for this fascinating post on science gone wrong.

1/19/2006 8:12 AM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

Free Tarot Readings,

I don't need astrology to find my soul mate or lost loved ones...but could it help me find a long lost key to some luggage?

I don't know why I need to reply on here, as I could've simply astralprojected this message to you.

1/19/2006 8:25 AM  
Blogger PDD said...


1/19/2006 9:56 AM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

I don't see what all the fuss is about. What's wrong with a rabbi in union with another person? What do you have against rabbis?

(Tongue firmly in cheek)

-- david

1/19/2006 12:37 PM  
Blogger Reiki said...

phoenix, maybe the tarot card reader can help me find my wallet? Do you really believe in the astral plane stuff? just wondering...

1/19/2006 1:12 PM  
Blogger The Phoenix said...

I have nothing against rabbis, but I refuse to put my tongue on his cheek...unless he were to finally accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior.

The only astral projection I saw was in college, as I lived in a frat house with a bunch of guys that astral projected all over the place - especially after dinner.

1/19/2006 1:40 PM  
Blogger Sar said...

Lordamercy, what will they think of next.

1/19/2006 9:39 PM  
Blogger Homo Insapiens said...

These guys may be into something. Toss a few chicken molecules and a couple of quarts of food colouring into the soup and there might actually be an Easter Bunny, Virginia!

1/20/2006 6:35 AM  

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