Do Now U:
After reading this KQED Learning – Do Now U article, I was very intrigued at the thought that studies like these are being done in modern science. Scientists are now able to insert a human stem cell into a pig embryo, and study this unborn fetus weeks into gestation. If human organs could be grown in a pig and used in transplant surgeries for all different kinds of organs, the amount of lives that would be saved is truly unfathomable. At the current rate, too many human lives are lost on a daily basis due to failing and weak organs that cannot be replaced in time. However, this could all change in short order. So what is the hold up? Well… this is where ethics comes into play and really makes me ponder the pros and cons of this amazing scientific breakthrough.
This new discovery in modern science is coming at a cost today due to the major ethical discussion it sparks. One of the biggest concerns is that if these pigs that are carrying embryos with growing human stem cells, there is the possibility that these human cells could develop in the wrong place. For example, if a pig were to develop mutated human organ or even a human brain, many problems could arise in the practicality and humanity in the entire project itself. Another issue of concern is that if scientists were to successfully grow healthy, human organs inside these pigs, when would the killing of these innocent animals stop? Would the successful scientists be money driven rather than looking at the big picture of saving lives? Many ethical questions such as these come to my mind just as they would anyone’s mind pondering what this could mean for saving the lives of sick humans, while maintaining the humanity for these animals.
So if I were to state my answer to this very complicated question, I would more or less agree with the pace at which this study is going currently. Science is taking human growth in pigs very seriously due to all of the error there is room for. At the same time, I do believe if scientists have already gotten this far, that they can maintain control of it and eventually grow human organs to be transplanted into humans for a renewed chance at life. I have the hope that in the end, both the humans and the animals will be kept in mind, and not lead to the horrific possibilities being questioned in ethics. Science is magnificent, just as human nature and animals are, and they all rely on each other.
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