State politics can be pretty boring sometimes, but once in a while we run into stories that sound stranger than fiction. One of those cases involved a bill in the Georgia legislature that comes across as bizarre on the surface but raises some intriguing ethical questions – a proposed law to ban human-animal hybrid embryos.
Rep. Tom Kirby (R-Gainesville) says such research is already being done in the United States and he’s heard possibly even in Georgia.
“It deals with the banning of mixing of those two different types of species and creating this Frankenstein science,” he tells WSB’s Sandra Parrish.
It’s not hard to find images on the internet of glowing cats, pigs, rabbits, and monkeys that were injected with a DNA from jellyfish as embryos. The research is done to help scientists map the genes that can cause devastating diseases in humans such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes.
Kirby wants to make sure none of the research is ever done on human embryos in Georgia.
“Just because we’re capable of doing it doesn’t mean it’s the right way to go,” he says.
Kirby’s bill brings to mind some wild, and even creepy, images, but the ethical concerns are pretty obvious and easy to see: as science advances and scientists experiment more boldly, could experiments on actual human embryos be too far behind?
The bill has its opponents, naturally from the other side of the aisle.
But some lawmakers are skeptical of the legislation, calling it a solution without a problem.
“It invokes a chuckle, but at the same it’s a waste of precious time when we could be dealing with education, transportation, and jobs,” says Sen. Vincent Fort (D-Atlanta).
The question remains: is a law necessary to curb such experimentation, or is Kirby’s bill so far-fetched as to be a waste of time? The Georgia legislature may make that decision this term.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock / SUWIT NGAOKAEW