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 ")

Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'

Vascularized Human Skin 3D Printed
Hey Fishboy! Three days and you're out!

China Accused Of Harvesting Organs From Unwanted Groups
'The death penalty was his immortality, and he would vote the death penalty for any crime at all.' Larry Niven, 1967.

Robothread Robotic Worms Crawling Through Your Brain
Perfect for clot-busting in the human brain. No Raquel Welch and no lasers, though.

 

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

Extremophile Microbe Loves Space Rocks
'... designed for rooting in the metal make-up of the asteroids for vital elements.'

Magic Mushroom Nose Spray From Silo Wellness
'I don't need help... that's not my diagnosis!'

CAV-X Supercavitating Ammo Deadly Underwater
'...in the midst of this fluid, which is very dense compared with the atmosphere, shots could not go far.'

Space Domes Over-rated? Science Fiction Authors Have Answers
'This was to be roofed over, sealed, and an atmosphere provided...'

Injectable Magnetic Fluid Slows Bleeding, Aids Magneto
'There's something different about you.'

Autonomous Wheelchairs Improve Airport Mobility
'Noiselessly, on rubber-tired wheels, they journeyed down the long aisles...'

HVSD, Kitty Hawk's Electric Plane
Very quiet commuter plane offers VTOL service.

Frictionless Toilet Could Save 140 Billion Liters Of Water
'The bowl was a frictionless surface...'

Viisights AI Hones Video Surveillance
'The math boys worked it out...'

Cybertruck The Solar-Powered Steel Tortoise
'It drew its power from... sunpower screens on its low curved roof.'

Road Noise Charges Electric Cars With Peugeot Piezoelectric Billboard
''... major cities of Earth have free electrical power conveniently processed from their own noise.'

Unsinkable Metal Latest Gates Obsession
'A metal... light as cork.'

M-Blocks 2.0 Self-Assembling Robots
'Faster the cubes moved...'

NASA 'Broomstick' Recalls SciFi Ideas
'The appearance was enough like a giant witch's broom to justify the nickname.'

Orbital Display's Low Earth Orbit Advertisements
'A vast circle of scarlet stars came up into the greenish desert dusk.'

Neuromorphic Computing Hardare
'He had constructed an organ, a brain, of metal, entirely inorganic and lifeless...'

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.