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OH Senate Passes Bill Banning Human-Animal Hybrids 197

An anonymous reader writes "The sci-fi movie Splice seems to have scared the Ohio's State Senator Steve Buehrer. The Ohio Senate has passed Sen. Buehrer's bill banning 'the creation, transportation, or receipt of a human-animal hybrid, the transfer of a nonhuman embryo into a human womb, and the transfer of a human embryo into a nonhuman womb.' So much for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles."


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OH Senate Passes Bill Banning Human-Animal Hybrids

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  • by uncoveror ( 570620 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:12PM (#32445922) Homepage
    While they are at it, why not ban cloaking devices and disruptors.
    • by 2obvious4u ( 871996 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:31PM (#32446256)
      Too bad its not science fiction. I personally know a group of scientists that create rabbit human embryos []. Also there has been a lot of research in growing human organs in pigs" []. So we are already producing animal-human hybrids. Hell we even grow human ears on mice [].
    • While they are at it, why not ban cloaking devices and disruptors.

      How long can you guarantee Sci-Fi tech will remain Sci-Fi?

      Stealth technologies? Energy weapons?

      They exist today.

    • Besides, with the creation of synthetic genomes recently, wouldn't scientists just create a human or animal genome to splice with the other? If they were doing this they'd only be looking for a small section of a particular species genome to splice with a humans, so synthesizing it wouldn't be too difficult*. At that point, they are only inserting synthetic genes and, while they are violating the spirit of the law, I seriously doubt they would be violating the letter.

      My next question is what happens when th

    • Exceeding the speed of light on public roads is now punishable with a fine of up to three times ten to the power of eight dollars.

  • Can we still develop monkeys with three asses?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by camperdave ( 969942 )
      But, but, but! Can we still develop monkeys with three asses?

      Sadly, we still have to have politicians and lawyers.
  • by xystren ( 522982 )
    Perhaps he should be watching V from the early 1980's and then he would have reason to be scared.
  • Why was taxpayer money spent making and passing such a bill?
    • Sheep herding (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Infonaut ( 96956 )

      Why was taxpayer money spent making and passing such a bill?

      Because when you can't tackle real problems, you have to be able to point out how you're "defending traditional values", no matter how absurd the legislation.

      • by TheLink ( 130905 )

        Actually it's not that absurd- at least the human-animal hybrid part.

        Most humans want to have special rights that other animals don't have. Despite what PETA and the rest think, we're going to be eating animals, experimenting on them, killing them.

        So the problem is then: what happens when you have a human-animal hybrid?

        At what percent do we regard the entity as human? And how do we calculate that percentage?

        After all I see people talk about ripping organs out from a human-animal hybrid and then putting the

    • A) For your protection
      B) So they get paid
      C) It makes it sound like they do work

      Politics is fun, isn't it?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Xveers ( 1003463 )
      Because it presents the appearance of doing something to "protect the children" while not actually having to -implement- anything. It's warm conservative-feel-good legislatural mush.
    • by osgeek ( 239988 )

      Because voters are stupid and can't choose the best candidates.

      To keep the issue as simple as possible, I encourage people to simply vote for politicians who are fiscal conservatives (lower taxes, balance the budget).

      The less money they have to spend, they less they can waste.

  • transplants? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scribbler'sEmporium ( 1310863 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:16PM (#32445984)
    No pig heart valves for you then when your own stops working.
    • Re:transplants? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:21PM (#32446066)

      From TFB:

              (1) "Human-animal hybrid" means any of the following:

              (a) A human embryo into which a nonhuman cell or a component of a nonhuman cell is introduced so that it is uncertain whether the human embryo is a member of the species homo sapiens;

              (b) A hybrid human-animal embryo produced by fertilizing a human egg with a nonhuman sperm;

              (c) A hybrid human-animal embryo produced by fertilizing a nonhuman egg with a human sperm;

              (d) An embryo produced by introducing a nonhuman nucleus into a human egg;

              (e) An embryo produced by introducing a human nucleus into a nonhuman egg;

              (f) An embryo containing at least haploid sets of chromosomes from both a human and a nonhuman life form;

              (g) A nonhuman life form engineered with the intention of generating functional human gametes within the body of a nonhuman life form;

              (h) A nonhuman life form engineered such that it contains a human brain or a brain derived wholly from human neural tissues.

      A human with a pig heart valve would not meet any of those qualifications.

      • (h) A nonhuman life form engineered such that it contains a human brain or a brain derived wholly from human neural tissues.

        Great. So we've just outlawed cyborgs huh?

      • Laws seldom stay fixed. One amendment to the definitions, and our hypothetical porcine-hearted individual is no longer "human", and can be stripped of the rights and privileges enjoyed by the pure.
        • ...the pure.

          Like white people, not long ago. How far back do we have to look before black people were finally granted the rights of white men in Ohio?

          This law could rip the US apart in a few scant years... Which would make for excellent sci-fi, come to think of it.*

          (* My idea. I'm a sci-fi writer so no stealing my ideas again. :b)

    • Looking at the bill, it appears to me to be crafted to not affect things like animal tissue transplants, but whether or not it may inadvertantly affect some other currently accepted practice I can't say (as I'm neither an expert at the nuances of legalese, nor an expert in the terminology and possibilities of medical sciences).

  • Would.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by malkavian ( 9512 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:16PM (#32445990)

    Having a pig's valve in the heart count as a hybrid? What about anyone born elsewhere who's had animal genome spliced into them to give advantageous traits in the future?

    • No. The manipulation has to be done at the level of one of these (quick summary): embryonic "fusing" or engineering; engineering non-humans to produce human gametes; or using any human neural tissue at all in an animal (animal-to-human brain-matter transplants are OK).

      source: []

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Johann Lau ( 1040920 )

      this isn't silly at all. if it wasn't made illegal, a lot of pretty sick things would be done openly pretty quickly. I guess lots of sick things can happen in underground labs either way (urrrgh), but the scale would be vastly different.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    What about the use of animals to grow human organs such as ears, hearts, limbs... to replace those lost due to accident, or birth defect?

    also, captcha win: "extras"

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I agree with you, this is far from a 'silly' law that has no real impact. This is in fact a completely misguided fear-driven law that will eliminate research into a promising technology because of some poorly defined moral yuck-factor.

      Kinda like the eight year delay in embryonic stem cell research, but that has got to make some voting group pretty happy. I just can't wait to see if their opinion changes when they are on an organ donor waiting list.

    • Right, so the one problem with xenografts is that the animal genetics are so different that they produce a massive immune response. But suppose we take say pigs and introduce human genes through genetic modification. Theoretically you could create a pig with genetics close enough to a human to not produce as much of an immune response. (Closer to a human-human transplant.) Why we would want to completely ban this idea when we would hopefully be able to use it to grow organs for everybody who needs one is be
  • by retchdog ( 1319261 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:20PM (#32446054) Journal

    Whether you agree with the bill or not, it will have an effect: []; link from wikipedia entry: []

    The rabbit/human embryo mentioned there falls under 3701.95.A.1.e. of the bill: "an embryo produced by introducing a human nucleus into a nonhuman egg".

    • And dead goes a decade or more of research on growing genetic identical replacement organs and tissue for transplant. The intermediate step to growing these things in a lab is growing them in an animal while the perfect the technique. No hybrid' the research stops dead. I wish legislators would stop looking at SciFi scare movies and actually start talking to real scientists in the field in question on what is going on, what the benefits could be and what the risks are. As it is they get their information fr

    • by IrquiM ( 471313 )

      Yeah, the effect being even more smart people leave US to do work in other countries.

  • by kalirion ( 728907 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:21PM (#32446070)

    So much for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

    The ninja turtles were mutants, not hybrids!

  • Don't ban manimals []!
  • !TMNT (Score:3, Informative)

    by uncledrax ( 112438 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:22PM (#32446090) Homepage

    Weren't the TMNT caused by an accident (radioactive spill from a truck) anyway?

    Unless this law also prohibits the transportation of mutantigenic compounds, then it wouldn't outlaw a legally produced TMNT.

    I was under the impression that the spill was due to an illegal cargo anyway, so realistically, a law wouldn't do much anyway.

  • A living womb, human or animal, was never involved. It was created in a dish and grown in an artificial incubator.
  • I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of furries suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.
    • Actually that's a possible problem with this bill.

      What if someone pulled this off and made a Lola Bunny clone, but for real? Think about it for a second. With a functional human brain and supporting systems, it--sorry, she--would definitely be sentient... and intelligent... and capable of survival. But the genome would be different, and the physical form would be as well. The skeletal structure may be largely similar to a human's-- especially the pelvic and spinal structures, allowing fully upright bip

      • by Surt ( 22457 )

        Well, I think the existing rules are clear enough. A human is conceived via sex between a man and a woman. Anything else isn't human, doesn't have human rights. That's why in-vitro children are, legally speaking, pets belonging to their parents.

        • Anything else isn't human, doesn't have human rights. Unless, of course, it legally registers as a corporation.
        • Well, I think the existing rules are clear enough. A human is conceived via sex between a man and a woman. Anything else isn't human, doesn't have human rights.

          Yes, and that in itself is a huge problem. At a time, we didn't consider black people to have rights. At a time in a country, Jews didn't have rights. At times in various countries, non-nationals didn't have rights.

          If at any time in the future we encounter something that can be described as a "person" (i.e. an alien race or a human artificial life with capacity for human-like thought and feeling), there will be a huge political battle over the establishment of rights for said beings.

  • But human-machine hybrids are still perfectly legal, right? Otherwise I'm going to have to give up my corrective lenses...
    • by jd2112 ( 1535857 )

      But human-machine hybrids are still perfectly legal, right? Otherwise I'm going to have to give up my corrective lenses...

      No, but some of the lawmakers might have to give up their pacemakers...

  • You know... there was a time when I would have thought this bill was a no-brainer and should be passed in every country. But recently, reading the Hyperion 4 part series by Dan Simmons changed my mind about that. Well, it at least got me thinking a little deeper about this.

  • not so simple... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by martyb ( 196687 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:29PM (#32446204)
    Sounds pretty simple at first; but what about transplants?

    For example, would this ban using a pig's heart valve from being transplanted into a person?  I had a family member who had this done!

    Where do you draw the line? A whole heart?  A heart AND a liver AND a lung?

    Who decides where the line is?  And what's to keep the line from moving?  And do we even want to keep it from moving?

    I can think of arguments for all of these.
  • Guess they're going to have to shut down laboratory 5.
  • What guy wouldn't want a horses dick? Yeah - you would limit who you can date but talk about a show stopper at a meeting when you whip it out and slap it on the table when you don't have an answer.

  • Surely the issue is recognizing and protecting the distinction between pure humans and all genetic freaks []?

    Hint to the Legacy Media: that's a question you should be asking the namby-pamby wishy-washy liberal OH Senate.

  • The law does not define what is human, other then by the generic description of "homo sapiens" How about a fully artificial set of chromosomes from a computer database created in a lab? Without a VERY clear definition of human, that we currently don't have, these type of laws are useless. Is someone with downs syndrome human? they have a extra whole chromosome. How about someone who gets infected with a retrovirus. They now have a mix of human and virus DNA. How about people who are XXY, XXYY, XYY or other
    • No, the law isn't useless. Chromosomal abnormalities don't make one non-human; there is no debate about this. Humans with retroviral manipulation at the level we have, are still human (and note this isn't banned by the bill). Yes, we share a lot of DNA, but it's still totally trivial to distinguish us at the genetic level. The law's interpretation today, and for the next few decades, is extremely clear. Every law has "flaws" at the level you are describing. That's why they get amended.

      Some people, including

  • "transfer of a human embryo into a nonhuman womb"
    Good Job, Steve. You must not want future human fertility treatments.
  • I thought humans were animals. Are humans not allowed to breed anymore?

  • by $RANDOMLUSER ( 804576 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @12:57PM (#32446796)

    ...prohibits...the transfer of a nonhuman embryo into a human womb...

    Does this include baby Jesus?

    just askin'

    • I don't know about that but I do know that a lot of furries are gonna be pissed.

    • That would have made a much better headline: OH Senate Passes Bill Banning Baby Jesus.

  • Human/machine hybrids.

    Mommeee, I wanna be a cyborg!

  • by TrentTheThief ( 118302 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:26PM (#32447348)

    While it is probably not yet possible to create a breeding animal-human hybrid, the idea should be considered seriously. There are numerous implications for society as a whole. Would such a person be treated a sub-class without rights? What purpose would they have?

    Science fiction writers, as is the norm, have dealt with such issues for many years, exploring various outcomes, both good and bad.

    I suggest for your edification:

    Human/animal hybrids created for combat - what happens after the war? []

    Gene-modified humans designed for work in zero gravity (four arms and no legs) []

    Gene-modified humans designed to work on very high gravity worlds. []

    Yes, the stories are science fiction. However, science fiction isn't just test tubes and electronics. It is the interaction of people in a futuristic environment. Consider the fact that 30 years ago, no one thought it would be possible to create a replicating cell from scratch. 60 years ago, the double helix of DNA was unknown.

    What is science fiction now, might be reality next week.

  • humatoes (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cluemore ( 1617825 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @01:29PM (#32447426)
    ... leaving the door wide open for human-vegetable hybrids.

    the law seems to forbid human hybrids with other mammals. That leaves a huge area of potential nobel prize research for human hybrids with funguses, reptiles, invertebrates (bugs, jellyfish, worms) and plants, without even having to put out the call through seti for extraterrestrial volunteers.

    this cups not half empty, it's half full!

  • ManBearPig - illegal (Score:2, Informative)

    by Petron ( 1771156 )
    Victory for Al Gore!

    I'm super serial!
  • What if the cure for cancer was found and based on a rat gene? (Rats are so cancer prone, I doubt it, but you never know.)
    What if an artificial womb was developed that can deal with extreme medical emergencies? (Mother dying of car crash and baby/embryo way too premature, or mother infected with horrible disease, or going to die of cancer without treatment that would abort the pregnancy, etc) (ie, not convenient party slut excuse)

    Just because some stupid politician got freak out by a distillation of "The Is
  • I have a cow valve in my heart. My knees are both synthetic and I use cloned insulin daily. Am I now illegal?

  • ... to synthesize and insert an entire genome. No "transferring" of anything. So go ahead and outlaw ALL genetic manipulation Ohio, because that's what it's gonna take.
  • by greenreaper ( 205818 ) on Thursday June 03, 2010 @02:18PM (#32448266) Homepage Journal
    Arizona is working on it as well [] - the bill is supported by the Bioethics Defense Fund, the Arizona Catholic Conference, and members of the 40 Days for Life Campaign.
  • Sure, the hardware is bad-ass, but biomod is cooler.

What is algebra, exactly? Is it one of those three-cornered things? -- J.M. Barrie