Man-beast hybrid beyond talking stage

August 22, 2001 | Source: The Edmonton Journal

The idea of combining the DNA of animals and humans has gone beyond the talking stage — it’s been attempted.
The first publicized case of animal-human hybrids took place in 1996 when Jose Cibelli, a scientist at the University of Massachusetts, took DNA from his white blood cells by swabbing the inside of his cheek. He then inserted the DNA sample into a hollowed-out cow egg.

Cibelli’s experiment came to an end after a week of growing the cell mass, he told scientists earlier this month at a panel meeting of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C.

Last October, Greenpeace Germany dug up a patent claim for a similar human-animal hybrid, only this time it involved a pig. U.S.-based Biotransplant and Australia-based Stem Cell Sciences grew a pig-human embryo to 32 cells before ending its life.

Chimpanzees share between 95% and 98% of our genes. If a human were crossed with a chimpanzee, would it still be human?