Human hybrid goes ape
03.06.12: SECRETLY filmed video footage, screened globally last night, showed a hairy, apelike creature with a human nose and mouth shaking its cage.
The animal liberation group who made the tape claimed that it showed the first human-chimp hybrid to be created in the laboratory. The narrator said the creature is prone to violent mood swings and is suffering from a progressive muscle-wasting disease. There is no proof that the animal is genuine, but it is feasible.
"All you'd have to do," says Professor Alastair McBaird, molecular geneticist at Aberdeen University, "would be to insert a gene sequence taken from a human embryo into a chimp embryo, and then implant the combination into a surrogate chimp mother."
The likelihood of a human-ape hybrid of this kind developing behaviour disorders or disease would be high, since the interaction between genes is still far from being well understood.
The lab is thought to be located in Mexico. Human-chimp hybrids are now outlawed both here and in America and Europe.
"I'm not surprised this work is going on," says McBaird. "There is huge pressure to explore the effects of replacing dozens or even hundreds of genes in human beings, and chimps are the closest we can get to ourselves but this is sick." JB