The Japanese Government Allows The University Of Tokyo To Engage In Odd Stem Cell Research
There is a lot of controversy brewing in Japan after the government green lights controversial stem cell research. The research will allow scientists at the University of Tokyo (UT) to develop a combination of human and animal matter for the development of stem cells.
Some people are calling this type of research ‘Frankenstein like and freakish.’ According to a spokesperson from UT, the scientists will create the creatures from embryo to ‘life.’ One of Japan’s most highly regarded geneticist Dr. Hiromitsu Nakauchi, will be leading a team of scientists on this research project.
The research will center around combining human cells in rat and mouse embryos. The embryos will then be brought to full term in various surrogate animals.
The stated goal of this work is to be able to harvest vital organs that are fully functioning. The organs can then be used for transplanting into patients who need organs replaced, like a kidney or liver transplant.
Some Are Calling The Ethics Of Such Research Into Question
The project has vocal critics all over the world, who are saying these scientists are in engaging in unethical behavior. Others say they are trying to play god by cross breading different life forms.
Some are wondering out loud about what would happen if these new lifeforms are allowed to just live outside of a lab. Colin Drury of ‘The Independent’ said, ‘it’s a very scary notion, and he thinks ‘nothing good will come of this’.
Drury said, “the end result could literally be half human half animal monsters being unleashed into the population.” Other critics are saying that this type of research has been proposed in other countries besides Japan.
They say the initiative for this research has been in the works for several years, and has also been denied. The denials the critics say was due to the obvious ethical and moral concerns.
In the past, Japan only granted this type of research for embryos to be allowed to grow for 14 days. Due to the diligence of the scientists and primarily Hiromitsu the scientists now can bring the embryos to term.
Japan- Dr. Hiromitsu Believes The Research Will Take Time To Fine Tune
Dr. Hiromitsu was interviewed extensively by the Japanese newspaper, ‘Asahi Shimbun‘ to discuss his research goals.
He claims, ‘he has no plans to immediately bring the proposed embryos to term.’ Although the doctor claims the technology is in place to start right now, those are not his plans.
The doctor claims the embryos are going to be created in sifts of 14 days cycles, and 15 day cycles. He and his team plan on taking the ‘slow approach, taking it slow, will bring in the best results. Tetsuya Ishii a science policy researcher said, “it is good to proceed with caution.” He said taking it slow will make it easier to address the public’s concerns.