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Chimeras: human stem cells grown in pigs for creation of transplantable organs for humans.

Couple thoughts: 1) if human over-populatuon is a thing, and if it leads to man-made climate change (assuming this is also a thing,) is it ethical to seek ways for diseased humans to live longer?

2) If Chimera-produced organs become availabe, will they be distributed based on ability to pay?

3) Would it be more cool to finally have a griffin, or some other mythilogical chimera produced?


By Hellas6
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My first reaction was " Not without the pig's consent". Speciesism, along with greed, will be the eventual end of this planet as we know it.

StephenB420 Level 3 Dec 23, 2018

While I know it is easy to say when it isn't someone important to you personally, perhaps we would be better off using our limited medical expertise, time, and money on those for whom the benefits would be greatest. I don't even pretend to know how this would be administered. Would a heart transplant be better for an eighty year old man/woman or, would a transplant be better for someone younger, say thirty?

Grayghost Level 5 Dec 23, 2018

The well being or happiness of the individual should not be viewed in the context of the size of the population. Those are two separate issues. Certainly both issues deserve, and the latter requires, attention, but neither demands that we abandon concern for the well being of individuals. Population control should not include denial of transplantable organs to individuals who need and can accept them. As to the matter of chimera, based upon your use of the term, it is not clear to me that you understand its meaning, but that is a collateral matter.


All of these questions/issues will become moot in the not too distant future as global economies collapse and industrialized societies collapse. Mass starvation including in the USA, Europe, and Japan will take its toll as will increasing deaths from natural disasters and wars. Human population worldwide will plummet by the end of this century.

Also, over-population and man-made climate change are real things. There's no need to assume.

TheAstroChuck Level 8 Dec 21, 2018

Hahaha. Too bad I'll probably miss this fun armageddon.

I was merely stating the obvious assumptions needed for the argument. I concur that climate change is, in part man-made, and definately a thing.

The replacement ratio sustain the current population is 2.1 1. Western industrialised countries and including Japan and South Korea are currently averaging 1.6 1. In fact South Korea is currently around 0,96 1. Third world countries certainly exceed this but as countries become wealthier population increase drops dramatically.. So it is in our interest give foreign aid those poor countries eventually cut the population increase. Of course as countries become wealthier they use more of the worlds finite resources including fossil fuels which will exacerbate climate change,so either way we are fucked !!!

@Moravian Yes we are screwed. The Earth can only sustain 1.5 Billion to 2 Billion people at energy consumption levels that are half of the current global levels. We are in a gross overshoot population wise and consumption wise. There is no where to go sufficiently fast to avoid a very hard, ugly crash with a huge population die off.


I personally think we are beyond the optimal population density for the planet. Regardless of the state if our medical science, I believe we are close to experiencing what some have described as the "Great Filter" for our species.

bigpawbullets Level 8 Dec 21, 2018

I'm at the point where I believe we have a 50/50 chance of making it.. I think there are to many of us to have human extinction.. (we are a lot like cockroaches)..
But during this "bottleneck " (that's the term I have heard) if a large enough meteor hits the earth ? Who knows..

@hippydog why does this fill me with nihilistic glee?

@Hellas lol.. I don't know.. it doesn't sound like fun to me .. but each to their own.. 😉🤪😋


Where the technology is going , it's a lot more likely we will just grow our own new organs..
Except for the rich.. they will have clones.

hippydog Level 7 Dec 21, 2018

I highly suggest reading the novella "Never Let Me Go" by British author Kazuo Ishiguro. It's about this very subject only taking it one step further. There is also a very good film adaption from 2010.

PalacinkyPDX Level 8 Dec 21, 2018

" is it ethical to seek ways for diseased humans to live longer?"


hippydog Level 7 Dec 21, 2018

What if it's only wealthy humans who have the dough to pay for, what will certainly be, incredibly expensive harvested organs? I think Hellas is asking some excellent questions.

@PalacinkyPDX that a separate question.. will we make this technology available to all people?

@hippydog It is a separate question, but it's a question which, I feel, needs to be asked before this becomes yet another way of privileging one class over another. There is a difference between a technology being theoretically available to everyone and "not a chance in hell you'll ever be able to afford it." This is doubly important since so much medical research is highly subsidized by the government no matter what drug and medical technology companies want you to believe.


@PalacinkyPDX "it's a question which, I feel, needs to be asked before this becomes yet another way of privileging one class over another."

Ah.. I don't disagree.. I am just at the point where I believe we don't have any choice.. this is how things go, this technology will likely not be any different.. (as it has nothing to do with the technology but how we deal it out. Ie: MRI, catscans, ultrasound etc , all started as expensive and then slowly worked it's way down to the masses)
In Canada, hopefully not as bad as we have universal healthcare and that seems to level the playing field a bit..

@hippydog Yes, yes, we, your southern neighbors, are once again thoroughly eff'd by our pathetic excuse for a healthcare system. smile003.gif

@hippydog I've heard the healthcare system there doesn't cover dental or not much of it. Any truth to that?

@bingst it's still a lot like the usa.. most of your coverage is thru work or you buy your own.. and the quality of that varies.. if you don't have coverage at work, but your not one of the working ultra poor or on welfare you just have access to the basic healthcare which does not include dental or eyeglasses..

When I was self employed I decided to skip the extra healthcare and went without dental for a few years. My new job has dental..


@hippydog highest quality care isn't available to all now, why would the future be any different?

@Hellas it likely wont..
But if the patterns stay the same everyone still at least gets a chance at it..
An ultrasound 20 yrs ago was around $2000 now it's closer to $200 ..
It's hard to even picture modern medicine without it.
Genetic engineering seems to be following the same curve as other technologies (Moores law)..
So compare ultrasound and cellphones from 1998 to 2018 , and then picture what genetic engineering will be like in 2038..
The chimera thing will VERY likely not even be a thought by then as better and more amazing technology will have become the norm.

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