A conservative news and views blog.

Location: St. Louis, Missouri, United States

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Dr. Moreau Revisited

Researchers at Yale are inserting human brain cells into monkeys as part of an ongoing experiment on Parkinson`s Disease.

This brings up a plethora of questions on scientific ethics, and one must wonder if the utilitarian benefits are worth the proceedural ruthlessness. Be that as it may, I have worse fears, as many of you may remember.

In my May of `05 post, The Island of Doctor Moreau, I warned of my fears that mixing human and animal DNA could lead to plagues as diseases which have traditionally parasited certain organisms find themselves in intimate contact with human DNA. The Hemmoragic Fevers-the Ebolas and Marburg-may well be a crossover species, as well as AIDS; they appear to be evolved to prey on simians, and humans are not very far genetically from simians. But these crossovers appear to have occured naturally, possibly through eating monkey meat; what will happen when we inject human genetic material in direct contact with simian (or other) genes?

Cannibals in the South Sea Islands used to develope something called Kuru, or Laughing Sickness (pseudobulbar paralysis). This disease was the result of consuming infected brain-stems of a human entre`, and resulted in paralysis, madness, and death. You see, there was a disease which had learned to parasite the brain, and which had settled into a comfortable niche whereby it was transmitted via cannibalism. Now, if THAT can happen, why should we doubt the ability of animal diseases to mutate, and break out into the population in general?

Thinking about the possibilities gives me the willies.

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