Chimeras in the Crosshairs

Nature Biotechnology (Impact Factor: 41.51). 06/2006; 24(5):487-90. DOI: 10.1038/nbt0506-487
Source: PubMed


Just as human-animal chimeras are beginning to provide tantalizing insights into fundamental scientific questions about human disease and consciousness, conservative US legislators and President Bush are launching a blistering moral attack. Christopher Thomas Scott investigates.

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Available from: Christopher Thomas Scott, Dec 09, 2014
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    • "The focus is entirely on the problems for humans of creating human-like animals. Commenting on the 2005 US National Academy of Sciences Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research recommendation that experiments introducing hESC into an NHP blastocyst should not be permitted, Alta Charo, one of the report's authors, commented that such research ‘might humanize animals in ways that are unnerving’ (quoted in Scott, 2006, p. 490). In this vein, the question of recipient species is allowed into discussion on the basis that if the animal is closely related to humans, there is less leeway for adding human material before it becomes ‘too human’ for our comfort. "
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    ABSTRACT: The governance demands generated by the use of human/animal chimeras in scientific research offer both a challenge and an opportunity for the development of new forms of anticipatory governance through the novel application of bioethical expertise. Anticipatory governance can be seen to have three stages of development whereby bioethical experts move from a reactive to a proactive stance at the edge of what is scientifically possible. In the process, the ethicists move upstream in their engagement with the science of human-to-animal chimeras. To what extent is the anticipatory coestablishment of the principles and operational rules of governance at this early stage in the development of the human-to-animal research field likely to result in a framework for bioethical decision making that is in support of science? The process of anticipatory governance is characterised by the entwining of the scientific and the philosophical so that judgements against science are also found to be philosophically unfounded, and conversely, those activities that are permissible are deemed so on both scientific and ethical grounds. Through what is presented as an organic process, the emerging bioethical framework for human-to-animal chimera research becomes a legitimating framework within which 'good' science can safely progress. Science gives bioethical expertise access to new governance territory; bioethical expertise gives science access to political acceptability.
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    ABSTRACT: We propose an algorithm creating consistent, dense disparity maps from incomplete disparity data generated by a conventional stereo system used in a wide-baseline configuration. The reference application is IBR-oriented immersive videoconferencing, in which disparities are used by a view synthesis module to create instantaneous views of remote speakers consistent with the local speaker's viewpoint. We perform spline-based disparity interpolation within nonoverlapping regions are defined by discontinuity boundaries identified in the incomplete disparity map. We demonstrate very good results on significantly incomplete disparity data computed by a conventional correlation-based stereo algorithm on a real wide-baseline stereo pair acquired by an immersive videoconferencing system.
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