Mouse With Human Brain May Live

Animals have been getting a real work-out in science lately. Methuselah mice are helping humanity with aging, pigs are trying artificial corneas and monkeys get gene manipulations that force them to work hard with no thought of reward.

Now, Stanford University has given famed researcher Irving Weissman permission to create a mouse-human hybrid. The intent is to inject human brain cells into the brains of developing mice to see what happens. The National Academy of Sciences will unveil guidelines on chimera and stem cell research this spring.

Professor Henry T. Greely, director of the Center for Law and the Biosciences and leader of the committee that considered the proposal, told the San Jose Mercury News, "We concluded that if we see any signs of human brain structures . . . or if the mouse shows human-like behaviors, like improved memory or problem-solving, it's time to stop."

This is a good idea; all students of science fiction and 1990's Saturday morning cartoons know full well what happens when mice start getting ideas:


(Are you pondering what I'm pondering?)

I hope, dear reader, that you will forgive me for not being able to pass that one up. Certainly, I take seriously the whole idea of such a creation, called a chimera after the lion/goat/serpent combo popularized in Greek mythology.

And, in the interests of intellectual rigor, I point out that perhaps the earliest reference to the idea that a chimera could be a product of science is that of the "monsters manufactured" in H.G. Well's 1896 novel The Island of Dr. Moreau:

"...It is not simply the outward form of an animal which I can change. The physiology, the chemical rhythm of the creature, may also be made to undergo an enduring modification,--of which vaccination and other methods of inoculation with living or dead matter are examples that will, no doubt, be familiar to you."
(read more about monsters manufactured and chimerae)

I'm not sure why scientists are fixated on the idea that small rodents can help humanity, but I've been seeing it a lot lately. Besides the Methuselah mouse example mentioned earlier, rat neurons in a dish are being taught how to fly planes; and hairless mice have been used to grow human ears:


(Can you hear me now? Good!)

Read a bit more at Stanford researcher wants to create human-mouse hybrid.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 2/16/2005)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 14 )

Related News Stories - (" Medical ")

EDSAP Wearable Stroke Detection
'His Altec cephalochromoscope, around which he had built the pleasure part of his schedule...'- Philip K. Dick, 1977.

In Vivo Micromotors Powered By Stomach Acid
First in vivo study of artificial micromotors.

Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart
'The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence...'- Philip K. Dick, 1960.

Radisens' Gemini Instant Blood Tests
It's a step toward a universal medical testing device.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

DJI Phantom Drone Now With GPS Blocking
'Workarounds were illegal and the fines were expensive...'

OMOTE Face Hackers At Work Video
'...a video-manicuring program came on line.'

Vroom! Your Car Or Truck's Engine Noise Might Be Fake
'... a sound tape to supply the noise'

Care-O-Bot 4 Personal Service Robot
'Beside her moved a gleaming robant...'

Skin Wearable Harvests Power With Triboelectric Effect
'He had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action...'

EDSAP Wearable Stroke Detection
'His Altec cephalochromoscope, around which he had built the pleasure part of his schedule...'

Brand Killer Helmet Blocks Real-Life Ads
'Some merely held the holos [ads] at arm's length.'

In Vivo Micromotors Powered By Stomach Acid
First in vivo study of artificial micromotors.

Synthetic 'Squid Skin' For Camouflage On The Way
'The small, chameleon-clad figures continued to advance.'

3D Printer 'Teleports' Objects Like Simak's Way Stations
'An entirely new being but exactly like the old one'

Laser Etching Makes Metal Super-Hydrophobic
'The water flowed off those walls without binding tension.'

Patient Walks Out With Fully Artificial Heart
'The throb of the robot pump gave him confidence...'

Radisens' Gemini Instant Blood Tests
An amazing lab-on-a-panel.

Nonhuman Artist Collective Keeps Robot Artist Earnings Until Legal
Pay the artists!

Argentine Orangutan Receives Basic Human Rights
'They wouldn't dare let the Fuzzies be proven sapient...'

Elon Musk, Google To Extend Internet Into Earth Orbit, Then Mars
'This was the center of Interplanetary Communications.'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.