Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Animals Containing Human Material: Time To Review The Ethics Say UK Scientists

From the 22 July 2011 Medical News Today article

 

Implanting mice with human tumors to test new anti-cancer drugs, injecting rats with human stem cells to find out how the brain repairs itself after a stroke, inserting human genes into the DNA of goats to make a protein that treats human blood clotting disorders; these are some examples of how science uses “animals containing human material” (ACHM). While they are invaluable tools for biomedical research, their use raises serious ethical questions, and a new report released on Thursday from the UK’s Academy of Medical Sciences says it is time to revisit these questions, and recommends the UK government set up an expert body to oversee experiments that use animals containing human material.

The report’s authors say that although the vast majority of research that uses animals containing human material, or “ACHM”, does not raise new ethical or regulatory questions, they are concerned that some sensitive areas like exploring cognition and reproduction, and giving animals human-like physical characteristics, need to be controlled.[Flahiff’s emphasis]..

..An example of a key area they highlighted that concerns scientists and the public, is using ACHM in brain research. What if, inserting human cells into the brains of animals results in animals having human-like “cerebral” functions: to be capable of consciousness, awareness and show human-like behaviour, they ask?

Click here to read the entire news article

Click here to link to the above report (Animals Containing Human Materials)and related downloads 

July 22, 2011 Posted by | Medical and Health Research News | , , , , | Leave a comment

   

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