Human-Animal Hybrids and Chimeras: What’s in a Name?

Things on the website have been rather quiet of late, though not for lack of interesting science and tech news. But rather I have been tied up with work projects for the last while, and am endeavoring to find some time to take a more in depth look at some recent developments. I do have some new reading material however for anyone with the dubious interest in human-animal genetic research; my piece entitled “Human-Animal  Hybrids  and  Chimeras:  What’s  in  a  Name?”,  was recently published by JAHR  –  the European  Journal  of Bioethics. You will find the abstract below:

Human Hybrids and Chimeras, What’s in a Name, JAHR – European Journal of Bioethics,

“This paper seeks to analyse public opinion and understanding of human-animal hybrid and chimera research; an area in which there are particularly strong opinions and reactions, but perhaps relatively little understanding or effective communication with the public. The paper will begin with a look at the mythological, historical and science-fiction connotations of these sorts of terms, and where the negative public opinions may have originated. The extent of this sort of research, and what precisely is covered by the various terms (such as xenotransplantation, transgenics, hybrids, and chimeras), will be examined. The case of admixed embryos in the UK will be examined as a case study in how sensationalist reporting on both sides of the debate can lead to regulatory difficulties. Finally, this paper will look at how this might more generally affect public policy and regulation in the UK.”

McNamee,  Shane  P,  “Human-Animal  Hybrids  and  Chimeras:  What’s  in  a  Name?”,  JAHR  –  European  Journal  of Bioethics,  Vol.  6/1,  No.  11,  2015, available at

Photo Credit: Sailko, (Wikimedia Commons)


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