Chimeras and Dr. Moreau

In an investigation I'll agree up front is justifiable in the search for a cure for human astrocytic diseases, scientists have created a mouse with mouse neurons and human astrocytes:

ABSTRACT

Forebrain Engraftment by Human Glial Progenitor Cells Enhances Synaptic Plasticity and Learning in Adult Mice

Xiaoning Han1, 2, Michael Chen1, 2, Fushun Wang1, 2, Martha Windrem1, 3, Su Wang1, 3, Steven Shanz1, 3, Qiwu Xu1, 2, Nancy Ann Oberheim1, 2, Lane Bekar1, 2, Sarah Betstadt4, Alcino J. Silva5, Takahiro Takano1, 2, Steven A. Goldman1, 2, 3, , and Maiken Nedergaard1, 2, 3, ,

1 Center for Translational Neuromedicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA 2 Department of Neurosurgery, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA 3 Department of Neurology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA 4 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY 14642, USA 5 Departments of Neurobiology, Psychiatry and Psychology, Integrative Center for Learning and Memory, University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA

Summary

Human astrocytes are larger and more complex than those of infraprimate mammals, suggesting that their role in neural processing has expanded with evolution. To assess the cell-autonomous and species-selective properties of human glia, we engrafted human glial progenitor cells (GPCs) into neonatal immunodeficient mice. Upon maturation, the recipient brains exhibited large numbers and high proportions of both human glial progenitors and astrocytes. The engrafted human glia were gap-junction-coupled to host astroglia, yet retained the size and pleomorphism of hominid astroglia, and propagated Ca2+ signals 3-fold faster than their hosts. Long-term potentiation (LTP) was sharply enhanced in the human glial chimeric mice, as was their learning, as assessed by Barnes maze navigation, object-location memory, and both contextual and tone fear conditioning. Mice allografted with murine GPCs showed no enhancement of either LTP or learning. These findings indicate that human glia differentially enhance both activity-dependent plasticity and learning in mice.

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The emerging problem is that we are on a slippery slope which terminates with Dr. Moreau's suffering hybrids.

See here.

There are already laws in most countries against chimeras creation on the level of Dr. Moreau, but there are also laws against human trafficking in countries where it routinely occurs. So there is going to be a problem here, sooner or later.

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