A scientist sought the Vatican’s approval for mixing human cells in animal embryos..and the Pope agreed!

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https://www.technologyreview.com/s/546246/pope-francis-said-to-bless-human-animal-chimeras/

Spanish scientist working at the Salk Institute in California told Scientific American that Pope Francis personally blessed his cutting-edge research to mix human cells into animal bodies.

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a prominent stem-cell biologist, is engaged in efforts to grow human tissue inside of farm animals such as pigs, sheep, and cows. This type of research is sensitive because scientists have to inject human stem cells into early-stage animal embryos, then try to grow the mixtures inside surrogate animals.

Much of Belmonte’s work occurs in collaboration with a team in the province of Murcia in his native Spain, a sausage- and ham-loving country which is about 77 percent Catholic.

“Spain is a very Catholic country, so we had to go through the Pope. He very nicely said yes.” Belmonte told Scientific American. “Yes. The current Pope. So the Vatican is behind this research and has no problem based on the idea is to help humankind [sic]. And in theory all that we will be doing is killing pigs.”

The Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Vatican’s scientific body, did not respond to an e-mail seeking to confirm Pope Francis’s position.

After placing human cells into animal embryos, researchers are watching to see what they do. The likely result is that a small percentage of human cells spread throughout the animal’s body. Belmonte’s eventual hope is to channel the human contribution so that it forms a complete human heart or other organ inside a pig or cow. Such an organ could be used to transplant into a needy patient.

While the Catholic Church has opposed research on human embryos, it endorses evolution and generally takes a liberal view on scientific matters. In fact, the Vatican’s position on “human-animal chimeras,” as the mixtures are known, may be more liberal than that of the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which in September instituted a ban on funding chimera research until it can weigh ethical questions associated with it.

http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/tissue-mash-up-a-q-a-with-juan-carlos-izpisua-belmonte/

JCIB: We are entering into an ethical [area]. Because there are some people who think that we shouldn’t mix human cells with other animals and there are others who don’t care, so to speak. Here in California, we have gone through the different committees and they allow us to have a pig embryo develop for a month. Which is one third of their gestation. At that point you can see already all of the major organ primordia.

There are other countries.  I’m from Spain and Spain has been quite open to this field of stem cell research. And they have allowed us to go until the animal is born. So in theory we could have a pig born with the human organ. It was not easy. Even though Spain is quite open to this stem cell research area, at the same time, Spain is a very Catholic country, so we had to go through the Pope. He very nicely said yes. This is to help people.

Scientific American: The current Pope?

JCIB: Yes. The current Pope. So the Vatican is behind this research and has no problem based on the idea is to help humankind. And in theory all that we will be doing is killing pigs.

———–

thanks to joelH for the link..

a blessing for mutant scientific creations?

“Even though Spain is quite open to this stem cell research area, at the same time, Spain is a very Catholic country, so we had to go through the Pope. He very nicely said yes. This is to help people.”

trust us..it will all be ok..

“Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a prominent stem-cell biologist, is engaged in efforts to grow human tissue inside of farm animals such as pigs, sheep, and cows. This type of research is sensitive because scientists have to inject human stem cells into early-stage animal embryos, then try to grow the mixtures inside surrogate animals.”

401

~ by seeker401 on February 5, 2016.

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