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Scientists want debate on animals with human genes

Kate Kelland
Reuters [1]
Tuesday, Nov 10th, 2009

A mouse that can speak? A monkey with Down’s Syndrome? Dogs with human hands or feet? British scientists want to know if such experiments are acceptable, or if they go too far in the name of medical research.

To find out, Britain’s Academy of Medical Sciences launched a study Tuesday to look at the use of animals containing human material in scientific research.

The work is expected to take at least a year, but its leaders hope it will help establish guidelines for scientists in Britain and around the world on how far the public is prepared to see them go in mixing human genes into animals to discover ways to fight human diseases.

“Do these constructs challenge our idea of what it is to be human?” said Martin Bobrow, a professor of medical genetics at Cambridge University and chair of a 14-member group looking into the issue.

Full article here [1]

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