1/07/2012

The Chimera Monkey; Herald of the Apocalypse


The Chimera (or Chimaera) was, according to Greek mythology, a monstrous fire-breathing female creature of Lycia in Asia Minor, composed of the parts of multiple; “A thing of immortal make, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire”, according to Homer's brief description in the Iliad the earliest surviving literary reference. Now a team of scientists from Oregon Health & Science University have created the world’s first Chimera monkeys in a lab using the embryos of several male monkeys and implanting them into female monkeys. The research, to be published online in the journal Cell, provides significant information about how early embryonic stem cells develop and take part in formation of the primate species. The team from OHSU’s Primate Research Center successfully delivered three Chimeric monkeys that were reportedly healthy, and with no apparent birth defects following the controversial research. While all three monkeys are biologically male, blood tests reveal that one carries both male and female cells. While Chimeric animals were first created by researchers in the 1960s, the team of scientists believe their research is the first to successfully create Chimeric monkeys. Since scientists were first able to produce Chimeric mice in the 60s, others have gone on to produce Chimeric versions of rats, rabbits, sheep and cattle. With the creation of the first primate born from multiple fathers, it is only a matter of time before a human is created from the DNA of multiple people. Thank you Dr. Mindbender!

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