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Growing Your Own

Tonight's guest Steve Quayle believes science may be headed down a thorny path with recent genetic breakthroughs. One of the first examples of tissue engineering(1), was performed at the University of Boston, whereby a "human" ear was grafted onto a mouse. The ear shape was molded out of biodegradable plastic and scattered with human cartilage cells before being implanted onto the mouse's back. Surprisingly, the ear can be removed without hurting the mouse.

But extra ears aren't just for mice, the UK-based artist Stelarc is embracing the idea for himself and is planning to have a third ear grafted onto his arm. "While it can't hear, with an implanted sound chip and a proximity sensor, the ear will be able to speak to anyone who gets close to it," BBC News(2) reports.

In 2002, miniature human kidneys were grown inside a mouse, and there is hope that this technique may eventually help those in the long wait for kidney transplants. But can these techniques go too far? In the article Playing God?(3), Keya Kamat writes of an experiment at Nimbalkar Institute in India, where through artificial insemination "an animal with the head of a goat and the body of cow," has been created, that is said to yield a higher volume of meat.

--L.L.

1. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/1949073.stm
2. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3096623.stm
3. http://www.jivdaya.org/genetic_engineering.htm

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