Contest Directions: Scientists have created a
sheep that's 15% human. The sheep looks 25% more human than Michael Jackson.
In this contest you are asked to photoshop human chimera - combine humans and animals into one species any way you like.
CoCoBear Hope to hear feedback before the close of,...I am an experienced Chopper, but it is always looming over that the help from fellow prof. choppers will help me further in this [more than] hobby of mine, thank you.
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This contest is fueled by the following news: For the first time in history of genetics and bioengineering,
scientists have created a human chimera, which has 15% human cells and
85% of sheep cells. It's important to note that human and animal DNA is not mixed with each other and is stored in separate cells, which are mixed with each other. The species looks like a normal sheep and human
cells are mostly located in the sheep's organs, such as liver, kidneys,
heart and brain. Such organs can be considered half human and are in principle
suitable to be transplanted into human body.
Technically the human chimera is created by extracting stem cells with DNA from
the donor bone marrow and implanting them into fetus of a sheep. When
a lamb is born, it has the organs that are partially human.
The whole idea on this multimillion dollar scientific project is to be
able to create new partially human organs from the stem cells of
donors in need of transplant. The development cycle of sheep allows
only months for creating adult organs that are suitable for transplant
to a particular donor and already contain his cells, which would
prevent organ rejection. The idea is to implant stem cells into
several fetuses, to make sure that even if one or two of them die
before they grow into adult animal, there are still others chimeras
left which by then have developed fully grown organs suitable for
transplants to the particular donor.
There are thousands of people in the US who are waiting for organ
transplants and most of them will die because transplants will not
become available in time.
So the research sounds good and needed, and will save lives.
But there are many critics of the human chimera methods pointing to
moral and biological issues. Moral side of it is "scientists
playing God" which interferes with the creation and evolution and may
result in strange mutants. Biological hazard of this approach is the
potential to bring so called silent viruses into humans. Such viruses
are harmless to animals, but can be deadly to humans, especially when
silent viruses start to mutate.
Such was the case with HIV - the silent virus which lived for
thousands of years in monkeys which are not affected by it. Humans got
infected with this virus through the contact with monkeys and the
result was the mutated virus which is deadly to humans and is one of
the biggest challenges to the modern science.
The latest discoveries in anthropology:
The turn of new century and the new millennium was marked by remarkable events in anthropology and palaeontology.
In 2000, French researchers - palaeontologists, led by Bridget Senya found parts of skeletons (13 pieces) of five great apes during excavation works in Kenya, near Lake Baringo.
The "age" of these skeleton parts was more than 6 million years! This "great ancestor" lived during the period which is significant for the simian theory, when the evolutionary branch of hominids and chimpanzees were divided, maybe a little later.
The new millennium gave researchers another very interesting discovery: a group of researchers, led by M. Leakey, discovered a skull on the banks of river Lomkvi in Kenya. The skull belonged to hominids, who lived 3.5 million years ago, i.e, during the spread of several species of Australopithecus in Africa.
But it was not Australopithecus - he had a very peculiar structure of the skull and the face was unusually flattened. From here originated the name "flat-Kenianthropus". Perhaps, Kenianthropus was the ancestor of Homo rudolfensis.
But these remarkable discoveries have not exhausted the list of sensationalism, brought by new century.
In 2002, French researcher Michel Brunet talked about the discovery of a new skull in Chad (Central Africa). The age of the skull, probably, may exceed the "age" of orrorin: 6-7 million years.
Along with general primitive structure, which includes many monkey features, anthropologists are ascertaining some features, that resemble skulls of hominids in the appearance of finding.
The newly discovered creature was named Sahelanthropus tchadensis (Sahelantrop Chad). Unfortunately, the limb bones were not found and therefore it would be difficult to judge the degree of closeness of the first sahelanthropus with hominids according to the skull.
Apparently, it was a monkey, which has features of hominids in its structure and lived in the era of the division of evolutionary branches of chimpanzee and human ancestors.
In any case, valuable new findings of anthropologists and palaeontologists in the late 20th and early 21st centuries, give the latest and the all important finishing touches to the picture of the evolutionary tree of mankind, which was drawn by several generations of researchers.
And with each of these lines strengthens the position of the Darwinian simian theory, which successfully withstands the test of time.