For the first time, Chinese scientists have used parts of the cloning procedure, to produce human-rabbit hybrid embryos. More than 100 of the hybrids were allowed to develop for several days before being destroyed to allow extraction of their embryonic stem cells. The scientific goal is to be able to mass-produce human embryos to provide a source for these embryonic stem cells, which can theoretically be used to create human tissue and organs—skin, lung, kidney, eye, brain, or spinal cells, etc. The problem they face is that the extraction of human egg cells is costly and somewhat difficult. So, if they can mass-produce and “harvest” egg cells from another creature (e.g., a rabbit), and remove most of its DNA, then insert human DNA, the result is a hybrid embryo that is “mostly” human!
Of course, mankind’s next question is, “How human do the embryos have to be before we must give them human rights?” Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said, “I think because all the nuclear DNA is human, we’d consider this an organism of the human species.”
Source: The Washington Post