This monthly seminar series explores issues at the intersection of ethics, technology, and bioscience.
Scientists, bioethicists and other invited experts will describe the state of the science regarding chimeras, brain organoids, editing embryos, engineering living systems and other controversial frontiers of health-related knowledge and new applications.
Discussion will be devoted to gaining both a deeper understanding of what is being done and can be done, while simultaneously examining what should or should not be done, under various circumstances, with an eye toward practical approaches, policies and ethical responsibilities.
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THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2019
THE SCIENCE AND ETHICS OF HUMAN/ANIMAL CHIMERA RESEARCH
Stem cell-based human/animal chimera research involves the transfer of human stem cells into animal hosts at various stages of development. The purpose of this research is to introduce localized human biological characteristics into laboratory animals to advance stem cell science, developmental biology, and many areas of biomedicine. Human/animal chimera research has existed without much controversy for decades outside of stem cell research, resulting in, for example, mouse models of human cancer and the human immune system. However, the possibility of acute levels of human/animal mixing in stem cell-based chimeras is of special concern to many.
Insoo Hyun and Willy Lensch will guide attendees through the scientific and ethical issues raised by stem cell-based chimera research, drawing on years of Dr. Lensch’s chimera research experience and Dr. Hyun’s externally funded bioethics research and published work in this area.
This series is hosted and organized by the Center for Bioethics at Harvard Medical School and co-sponsored by the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School with support from the Oswald DeN. Cammann Fund at Harvard University.