Edinburgh Research Explorer

Creation of human–animal entities for translational stem cell research: Scientific explanation of issues that are often confused

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTranslational Stem Cell Research
Subtitle of host publicationIssues Beyond The Debate On The Moral status of the embryo
PublisherHumana Press
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-60761-959-8
ISBN (Print)978-1-60761-958-1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


In a dramatic scene, the hero in David Lynch’s 1980 film The Elephant Man exclaims: “I am not an animal! I am a human being! I... am... a man!” This appeal for respect illustrates how distinctions based on our shared humanity are deeply engrained, notwithstanding recognition that we are a particular species of animal. It is therefore little wonder that various entities containing human and nonhuman components may lead to controversy [1–4]. In this chapter, we will attempt to guide readers in distinguishing between different interspecies combinations and discussing the scientific rationale for their particular use in research. This is followed by an exploration of how humans might be distinguished from other species, providing a backdrop for some of the ethical concerns and legal issues arising from such research, which will be discussed further in ensuing chapters.

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