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TCU 360

The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of 28!
The Skiff Orientation Edition: Welcome, Class of '28!
By Georgie London, Staff Writer
Published May 13, 2024
Advice from your fellow Frogs, explore Fort Worth, pizza reviews and more. 

Animal transplants positive medical advance

A professor at the University of Nevada spent seven years and about $10 million perfecting a technique that creates what scientists have called a chimera, an animal that is 15 percent human and 85 percent sheep, according to the Associated Press.These animals are predicted to be used for their organs. At some point in the future, scientists say chimera organs will be so close to humans that they will be able to save an incredible amount of transplant patients.

This idea is difficult to embrace if stem-cell research is called immoral. The difference is that we are not playing chicken with a prospective human’s life. This concept uses an animal, a God-given gift, to heal friends and family members.

The concept can be unnerving if we let it, but we have to understand that God gave us animals to use. The human race has bred and killed animals for centuries for the use of their meat, skin, feathers and even bones.

Scientists are close to finding a way to use animal organs to save human lives.

Professor Esmail Zanjani, the main scientist from Nevada, has been injecting adult human cells into sheep fetus’ for years. He has already created a sheep liver that is large enough in proportion to a human’s liver.

If this proposal takes root in our society, a scientist or doctor would take cells from a transplant patient and create a flock of sheep, in case one or more does not produce a precise match.

The only ethical question that can be argued thoroughly is what the nation would do with all of the excess sheep that are not used for that particular patient’s transplant. It is uncertain what the answer to that would be.

If we take Tylenol for our pain or if we are put under anesthesia before surgery, are we not taking God’s role into our own hands? We are taking lives that normally would end and extending them in almost every surgery done.

If we, as a world, can take those steps and qualify them as works of a human within his or her rights from God, then there can be nothing wrong with taking an animal and using its organs to save a human life.

It is no different than raising cattle, chicken or pigs for slaughter. Without the excess of these animals, most people would not be fed and would starve.

There will always be the concern that silent viruses, that are harmless in animals, could be introduced into the human race.

“Many silent viruses could create a biological nightmare in humans,” said Patrick Dixon, an international lecturer on biological trends. “Mutant animal viruses are a real threat, as we have seen with HIV.”

We have to trust that scientists will do everything in their power to find all of the quirks in this market before ever allowing it to be tested on a human.

After all, this entire world revolves around new medication and new medical technologies to allow us as much time as possible with our loved ones.

This is just another medical step that can be easily compared with the practice of transplants themselves, taking someone else’s organ and placing it in another person’s body.

Only this time, patients may not have to wait on someone else’s death, to give them life.

Marissa Warms is a junior advertising/public relations major from Irving. Her column appears Fridays.

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