Animals are now being created with human brain cells!
That momentous albeit distressing fact was brought to the public’s attention by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS and was reported in the ARIZONA TRIBUNE dated January 6, 2010:
In an undisclosed, secret laboratory in Mesa, Arizona, Dr. Michael Bartsch has been injecting MICE with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of disorders -- such as Parkinson’s -- in order to find cures for the disease. He created the models by injecting 100,000 human stem cells into the brains of 14-day-old rodents. The mice were born with about 0.5 percent of human cells in each of their brains, a trace amount that doesn’t remotely come close to “humanizing” the rodents. However, it proved that injecting human stem cells into mouse brains does have a positive affect on their intellect. ”This is not far-fetched,” Dr. Bartsch argues, “after all, the mice are 97.5 percent genetically identical to humans.”
Nevertheless, many scientists worry that if you humanize animals too much you cross certain boundaries that could be dangerous, and they’re sincerely concerned for mankind if this practice, which they refer to as THE YUCK FACTOR, is allowed to continue.
Dr. Bartsch claims that a cat he had injected with human stem cells called 911 for help, which was instrumental in saving its master’s life:
Police got a 911 call from Gary Armstrong’s apartment, but no one was on the line. When they called back and didn’t get an answer, they decided to investigate: In the apartment they found Tommy the cat lying by the phone on the living room floor. Mr. Armstrong, who had fallen, was unable to get up because of mini-strokes that disrupt his balance; also he wasn’t wearing his medical necklace and couldn’t reach it to alert paramedics that he needed help. Mr. Armstrong said that he got the cat three years ago from Dr. Bartsch who informed him that the cat, due to the human stem cells that had been injected into its brain, could easily be trained to call 911 in an emergency. The cat’s owner was unsure if the training ever stuck, however, now he knows that it was successful.
The phone in the living room is always on the floor and there are 12 small buttons on it, including a speed dial for 911. Thanks to the stem-cell injections, Tommy the cat learned what button to push when his owner became disabled.
When hearing of the cat’s achievement, Dr. Bartsch is quoted as saying, “I’m not surprised. I truly believe that by increasing the number of human stem cells into animals that they could not only be trained to accomplish heroic deeds but in time taught English and be able to speak with their masters.”
It is therefore possible that Dr. Bartsch’s theory may one day become a reality; however, in the story that follows, THE YUCK FACTOR we learn what can happen when over-zealous scientists attempt to humanize animals.