Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Wednesday 22 September |
Saint of the Day: St. Maurice and the Theban Legion
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Making Super-Mice: First, You Take an Aborted Human Baby


Susan E. Wills - published on 12/07/14

They’ve already begun experimenting with rats’ brains.

And they are conducting research using hybrid human/mouse brains to investigate a rare and fatal viral infection, progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy.

And they are using hybrid human/mouse brains to study schizophrenia.

And, they’ve sought approval for transferring progenitor glial cells from “donated” aborted human children into the brains of adults with multiple sclerosis.

Emory neuroanatomist Todd Preuss had a helpful idea, though it came too late. He stated that it “would be interesting to see if the investigators would get the same effects … by engrafting chimpanzee or macaque glia.” Indeed, why did Goldman, Nedergaard and their team, not experiment first (or only) with chimp/mouse or macaque/mouse hybrids rather than jumping right into aborted human fetal brains? 

Goldman said they decided against experimenting on primates – as recipients of human glial cells – "because of all the potential ethical issues." But, apparently, he and his team see no ethical issues in dissecting the brains of aborted human children for their research. Could their findings help those who suffer from “incurable” diseases, like MS and schizophrenia? Possibly, but their use of brain cells from aborted children raises at least three grave concerns:

First, it can be seen as legitimating abortion, by pointing to potentially good therapeutic results. Research by Nazi doctors on holocaust victims yielded findings that could produce therapeutic results, but medical ethicists agreed that no findings arising from their violations of human rights and medical ethics should ever see the light of day.

Second, the use of progenitor glial cells from aborted children is completely unnecessary because the same cells can be derived by using human adult stem cells (a simple procedure that does not result in anyone’s death), which can be induced to become pluripotent.

Third, why not put human glial cells into the brains of chimps and macaques? Professor Wolfgang Endard, of Munich’s Ludwig-Maximillians University, asked a reporter for "MailOnline" (U.K.): "If you make animals more human-like where do you stop?" Good question, because once the process of isolating glial cells from aborted human children is perfected by other researchers with more flexible ethical standards, it is only a matter of time before the process described by Dr. Goldman et al. is used to create super-chimps and super-macaques who could then be trained to perform many human tasks. The horizon for potential uses and abuses of other primates is virtually unlimited. Lord, have mercy.

Susan Wills
is a senior writer for Aleteia’s English edition.

  • 1
  • 2
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Domitille Farret d'Astiès
Attacked with acid as a baby, Anmol Rodriguez overcomes and inspi...
Esteban Pittaro
Argentine “Mother Teresa” was a former model and actress who embr...
Philip Kosloski
Your body is not a “shell” for your spirit
Our Lady of La Salette
Philip Kosloski
How Our Lady of La Salette can give us hope in darkness
Philip Kosloski
Pray this Psalm when you successfully recover from an illness
Philip Kosloski
An alternative Hail Mary to Our Lady of Sorrows
Cerith Gardiner
12 Habits of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati that every young adult...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.