(The portrait of Mr. Pig comes from that article.)
It’s a variation of a question that I raise early-on in my technothriller, A REMEDY FOR DEATH. In REMEDY, a researcher tries to implant brain cells from a human fetus into a young chimp. (Not a plot-spoiler: that is only a small part of the story,)
Want to read a FREE 100 page sampler of A REMEDY FOR DEATH?
In the Aeon article, the focus is on the pigs that may be used to grow replacement human organs:
Continue reading “Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person?”–question raised in Aeon
At last! Now that the Baby Boomers and even the Millennials are just beginning to think those thoughts of “Am I getting old? Not me! It can’t happen to me! Can it?” Now comes “Compound 14”—a recently discovered molecule triggers “a chain reaction of events in the cell that . . . well, to make long technical story short, tricks human body cells into “thinking” the body has just been for a good, solid workout.
Or, put differently, “ZMP” the master regulator, sends the signal that activates “AMPK” the cells’ central energy censor. Got that?
Bottom line: alas, Compound 14 isn’t for sale yet at the corner drugstore, but the work, headed by Ali Tavassoli, a professor of chemical biology, and Felino Cagampang, an associate professor in integrative physiology, is underway at the University of Southhampton in England.
The study, published in the journal, Chemistry and Biology, details how Compound 14 was given to two groups of mice, and the fat, chubby group lost five percent of body weight after receiving it for seven days.
Is that not a big step toward the Fountain of Youth (at least for mice)!
Who knows what wonders await us, thanks to the tools of bio-engineering and synthetic biology . . . provided somehow we can slow the human aging process so we can all hang around until those wonders do arrive.
If you’re not ready for the complete paper in the scientific journal, check out this article in the Washington Post by Ariana Eunjung Cha
Intriguing article in MIT Technology Review, “Transplant surgeons revive hearts after death.”
These days, we’re familiar with heart transplants from brain-dead patients into others needing a new, healthy heart.
But in a new experimental breakthrough, successes have been achieved in transplanting the hearts of those not brain dead. Yes, there are procedural and ethical issues involved.
Mind you, this involves actual human hearts, not 3-D printed replacements, or bits of heart tissue grown in labs from human stem cells.
But the possibility raises some issues of medical ethics to be explored: if the donor is not brain dead, when and by what criteria can the heart be removed?
Rather than dig in deeply here, I’ll refer you to the article itself. You’ll see a “reanimated” donated heart actually beating outside the bodies of both donor and recipient. Here’s the link.