A report from the Academy of Medical Sciences into the ethics of putting human material into animals for research purposes said more regulation is needed now, before possibilities that are explored in fiction start happening in reality.
While the report stressed that experiments at the more extreme end of the scale are not happening in the UK yet, its authors said they wanted to start the conversation now so that future decisions could be taken with the support of scientists and the public.
Many scientists believe that research of this type, where human genes are implanted into animals like mice and goats, has huge potential. It has already had some notable successes like the Down’s mouse, a mouse implanted with the human chromosome linked to Down’s Syndrome which has helped scientists understand more about the condition.
While the report found that the public is generally in favour of this research, it also looked at the point at which people have ethical issue