A parahuman or para-human is a human-animal hybrid or chimera. Scientists have done extensive research into the mixing of genes or cells from different species, e.g. adding human (and other animal) genes to bacteria and farm animals to mass-produce insulin and spider silk proteins, and introducing human cells into mouse embryos.
Human-animal hybrids and chimerasParahumans have been referred to as "human-animal hybrids" in a vernacular sense that also encompasses human-animal chimeras. The term parahuman is not used in scientific publications. The term is sometimes used to sensationalize research that involves mixing biological materials from humans and other species. It was used in a National Geographic article to describe an experiment in 2003, during which Chinese scientists at the Shanghai Second Medical University successfully fused human cells with rabbit eggs. According to Daily Mail, as of 2011, more than 150 human-animal hybrid embryos were created in British laboratories since the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008.
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There are several reasons for which parahumans or chimeras might be created. The current forms of chimera exist for medical and industrial purposes, e.g., production of drugs and of organs suitable for organ transplantation. Other experiments aim to reveal knowledge about the function of the human body, e.g., by creating mice with a human-like immune system to study AIDS or with a brain incorporating human nerve cells. Restrictions on cloning and stem cell research have made chimera research an attractive alternative.
If a line of parahumans could be created using germline engineering, if they also bred true, and if they were different enough from ordinary humans to be unable to breed with us, then they...
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