最近在联邦政府的赞助下 开展了一系列有关 嵌合体研究 的讨论
So a recent set of controversies has to do with the funding by the federal government
about a research that mixes human and animal genetic material sometimes called chimeras,
but there’s actually a broader – so again, the method is to think about a large number
of cases; it’s helpful to think about very different cases.
So to use some real cases imagine you mixed human brain cells, so human brain stem cells
in the embryonic stage into a mouse to create a mouse with a humanized brain and it wouldn’t
be a human brain.
It isn’t exactly the same.
比如 它更小 但它具有人类大脑的元素
It’s much smaller, for example, but has humanized elements.
另一个例子是 想象你有一只大猩猩 你像对待大猩猩那样对待它
Another example is imagine you took a gorilla, treated the gorilla exactly as it is but were
但这只大猩猩可能有一张人脸 所以 一只长着人脸的大猩猩 我们到底把它看作人还是
able to generate a human looking face, so a gorilla with a human face, how would we
think about that entity?
Third example, humanized immune system.
Took a mouse and we do this with, we have these at Harvard, for example, and created
来测试对人类病毒 比如艾滋病毒 的免疫能力
an immune system in order to test drugs, think about HIV, for example, that was humanized.
So not the brain but just the immune system was very human like.
最后一个例子 瓣膜替换 心脏瓣膜替换
And last example is actually valve replacements, heart valve replacements.
杰西·赫尔姆斯 一位议员 他在几年前与猪进行过瓣膜替换 所以他体内有一部分
So Jesse Helms, a senator had a pig valve placement years ago so there’s a piece of
an animal in him.
So these are four examples of different kinds of mixing and the question is which are okay
and which are not okay?
Why can we generate some principles?
So what might be wrong with mixing human and animal parts?
So one thing that might be wrong is that we think it will confuse the boundaries between
humans and animals, that right now we have a pretty clear distinction.
Many people love their dogs and their cats like members of the family.
They are able to say this is not a member of my family.
This is not a member that has the same rights as my family member.
In a world where we had much more of a continuum between animals and human beings those distinctions
would become difficult.
Now just because they become difficult doesn’t mean that that’s wrong, it just posed for
us a new problem.
Maybe it would illustrate a problem we should be thinking about all together.
So I’m not particularly sympathetic to that argument.
A different arguments though is to say human beings are particular kinds of things with
particular kinds of capacities and there’s a dignity to being a human being.
And if we were to mix enough animal material into a human being the thing that we would
have would not be something new but would be a human being that could not flourish as
a human being.
It would be an undignified human being, a kind of entity that is one of that really
is unable to really experience what it is to be human.
这时候 你或许会赞同这个观点 也认为 对啊 它们不是人了
Now again, you might push on this and say well yes that’s true they would not be a human
being and they would not necessarily have all the capacities of a human being.
So imagine having some of the capacities of a human being being stuck in a rat’s body
Sure they would be ways in which you would not flourish as a human being, but why not
think of you as flourishing as a new kind of entity?
And in particular you might actually think there might be an obligation to create some
kinds of chimeras.
比如 让我们来想一下那只芝麻街（幼儿教育电视节目）的大鸟（发声布袋戏人偶） 好吧这个有点蠢
So if, for example, we think of Big Bird from Sesame Street, it sounds like a silly example
but it’s a good one right?
Big Bird talks.
Big Bird has friends.
Big Bird goes to school, been at school a long time on Sesame Street I guess, but he
seems to have a pretty good life.
Imagine if we could take regular birds and turn them into Big Birds by doing something
Would we think of that as improving a little bird’s life or do we think about that as hurting
a human being’s life through this mixture?
Hard questions, but at least it might be possible that we think we’re doing animals a favor
by doing this.
And other answers might say it depends a lot on the specifics of the case.
There are changes we could make to human beings by mixing in animal DNA that might make them
better, and there are changes we could make to human beings that might make them worse
and worse from a moral perspective.
所以 用一个著名的例子来说 如果在人的体内
So, for example, if it turned out that there was, to use an example of the literature,
we could give human beings night vision so they could see at night like some animals
through mixing in a little animal DNA.
You might think that would be great.
We could do more search and rescue.
We’d be better drivers.
There would be less fatalities.
On the other hand if the result was to produce human beings that had much stronger aggression
or violence or claws or something like that you might think that’s worse because we’re
going to do more harm.
And that would suggest that the answer about whether we ought to have chimeras or not and
what kind can only be answered in a particularistic way of thinking about a particular case.
I will say, and this is kind of referencing some work by my friend Ed Greely at Stanford,
我觉得 从社会学角度来看 有些特别部位的变化似乎
that there are particular kinds of changes which from a sociological perspective seem
to bother us more.
And he describes them as kind of brains, balls and faces.
So brains, it turns out we’re very disturbed by the idea of human brains or humanized brains
in animals, much more disturbed by the humanized brain in mice than we are by the humanized
immune system in mice, for example.
The other is balls.
We tend to be very nervous when we think about the idea, and this is kind of crazy and out
there, imagine you could create an animal that had the ability to reproduce it’s gonads,
it’s reproductive system was human so that you’d have animals mating and producing human
beings and animals.
That’s the kind of thing that I think disturbs a lot of people as an idea.
And the last is faces.
The idea of having animals with human faces, for example, I think just disturbs a lot of
Even though you might say a face is a face, but it’s a marker of human beings in the way
we relate to each other and I think there’s just a strong sociological pushback against that.
最近在联邦政府的赞助下 开展了一系列有关 嵌合体研究 的讨论