The Academy of Medical Sciences has released a report calling for regulations to stop animal / human hybrids.
Scientists have stuck into the Island of Dr Moreau, getting the jitters over possible experiments to combine human and animal attributes.
Some would say that such experiments are already widespread, with critics pointing to certain grunting Premier League players.
But the scientists are hoping to open debate and lay down some rules over what is acceptable.
They are concerned that some members of the public will baulk at the idea of a multi-tentacled fast-food salesman, or a traffic warden with kangaroo legs.
In fact, they are even petitioning the Home Office to put a stop to such antics with a regulatory body.
The main gripe in the new report is that human characteristics should not end up in animals rather than vice-versa. So TechEye’s News Ed may still get those pig trotter hands he’s hoping for.
Apparently animals containing human material (ACHM) research is not so far-fetched, with more rudimentary versions already occurring. But the group is worried that experiments will continue outside of ethical boundaries.
Although it’s not thought that there is anything untoward happening at the moment in ACHM, the scientists want to stay one step ahead.
Cognition is one area that is particularly sensitive. A survey showed that the public was none too happy about animals that can argue back, but we like the idea of a mistreated Staffie telling its idiot owner he’s a twat.
It’s more difficult to tuck into some KFC knowing that the bird has spent its short life considering weighty existential matters and reading Proust.
They were, however, happy for ACHM research to continue with, for example, drug testing for diseases such as AIDS and cancer.
The areas which are off limits are modification of the animal brain which could “potentially lead to human-like cerebral function”, and experiments where human eggs could be fertilised in an animal.
Another no-go is the “modification of an animal to create characteristics perceived as uniquely human”, such as facial shape, skin texture, or speech.
But in the name of tolerance, scientific discovery and our own amusement, TechEye hopes that we at least get Trafalgar Square pigeons with cockney accents before the brakes are put on such advancements.
See here for the actual report.