In response to a request for public comment on chimera research, this was my answer.

“I am horrified at the idea of combining human DNA with an animal’s DNA. One article produced by NPR notes that the chimeras would never be released into the wild and would be always be controlled in a lab environment. There are two major issues with this. First, animals are not meant to be bred and live in captivity in a controlled environment, period. This is proven by the inability of pandas and other species to breed while living in zoos. Additionally, what has been seen at Sea World with the miserable orca population, shows that many species have no business living in captivity, let alone being bred with a human’s DNA.

There is no way for people to know whether these creatures will suffer by having human DNA within them since it is probable that their intelligence may increase and they could even fall into a deep depression. Being that there is not enough research to prove whether blood or organs could possibly carry neurological disorders, any organs transplanted from these “chimeras” have the possibility of infecting, for lack of a better word, their human donors with mental illness developed as a result of sharing human DNA.

The second issue I am concerned with is the idea that these creatures will be contained at all times. The movie, Jurassic Park, comes to mind, as well as chaos theory. We may believe we can control everything with our superior human intelligence, but if we give animals the same ability as ourselves, even by mistake, things could seriously wrong. It only takes one rogue to create a major catastrophe; how do we know every scientist on board will take an ethical stance? Dr. Frankenstein, though a fictional character, began as an upstanding scientist, slowly converted into a monster-creating person and felt no remorse.

Humans are capable of becoming monsters, as well as creating them. I seriously implore the U.S. government to avoid touching into places which “play God.” We have no business there and I am certain that this will turn out as nothing but a disaster if we pursue this means of scientific research.”


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