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Now scientists create a sheep that's 15% human

3/26/07 By CLAUDIA JOSEPH

Chimera: sheep have 15 per cent human cells and 85 per cent animal cells

Scientists have created the world's first human-sheep chimera - which has the body of a sheep and half-human organs.

The sheep have 15 per cent human cells and 85 per cent animal cells - and their evolution brings the prospect of animal organs being transplanted into humans one step closer.

Professor Esmail Zanjani, of the University of Nevada, has spent seven years and £5million perfecting the technique, which involves injecting adult human cells into a sheep's foetus.

He has already created a sheep liver which has a large proportion of human cells and eventually hopes to precisely match a sheep to a transplant patient, using their own stem cells to create their own flock of sheep.

The process would involve extracting stem cells from the donor's bone marrow and injecting them into the peritoneum of a sheep's foetus. When the lamb is born, two months later, it would have a liver, heart, lungs and brain that are partly human and available for transplant.

"We would take a couple of ounces of bone marrow cells from the patient,' said Prof Zanjani, whose work is highlighted in a Channel 4 programme tomorrow.

"We would isolate the stem cells from them, inject them into the peritoneum of these animals and then these cells would get distributed throughout the metabolic system into the circulatory system of all the organs in the body. The two ounces of stem cell or bone marrow cell we get would provide enough stem cells to do about ten foetuses. So you don't just have one organ for transplant purposes, you have many available in case the first one fails."

At present 7,168 patients are waiting for an organ transplant in Britain alone, and two thirds of them are expected to die before an organ becomes available.

Scientists at King's College, London, and the North East Stem Cell Institute in Newcastle have now applied to the HFEA, the Government's fertility watchdog, for permission to start work on the chimeras.

But the development is likely to revive criticisms about scientists playing God, with the possibility of silent viruses, which are harmless in animals, being introduced into the human race.

Dr Patrick Dixon, an international lecturer on biological trends, warned: "Many silent viruses could create a biological nightmare in humans. Mutant animal viruses are a real threat, as we have seen with HIV."

Animal rights activists fear that if the cells get mixed together, they could end up with cellular fusion, creating a hybrid which would have the features and characteristics of both man and sheep. But Prof Zanjani said: "Transplanting the cells into foetal sheep at this early stage does not result in fusion at all."

lAnimal Farm is on Channel 4 at 9pm tomorrow

Spain judge says Bush and Iraq war allies should be accountable

Link

Summary:

What to me is more interesting than Baltasar’s opinion piece in El Pais is the concurrence of ICC chief prosecutor Luis Moreno, who is looking into the possibility of bringing Blair (who currently falls under ICC jurisdiction) to justice. I would naturally love to see Bush on the same dock as Slobodan, which is where he and those who have facilitated U.S. war crimes clearly do belong.

While I am normally opposed to the death penalty, and the ICC does not follow the same barbaric practices the U.S. government encourages in the world today, if they ever did manage to lock away that monster and his cronies for the remainder of their natural lives, I would be reasonably satisfied that some justice has occurred for the hundreds of thousands slaughtered and millions living in DU contaminated environs in the oil wars or those maimed and still suffering from the use of illegal munitions, although seeing Bush swinging for these very real crimes against humanity admittedly does have a more visceral appeal even for a peace loving and non-violent individual such as myself. It is also worth noting that Bush would receive as a ICC war crimes suspect both due process and the right to face his accusers, and would face confinement in the public eye, rather than the way he has chosen to strip those very same rights from others, many of whom have been held hostage for 5 years without even charges. Naturally neither of these legal opinions will be heard or reported in the American press…

[Posted By alexander]

By Jane Barrett Republished from Reuters

And ICC Chief Prosecutor Louis Moreno-Ocampo agrees

MADRID, March 20 (Reuters) – The judge who tried to jail Chile’s former dictator Augusto Pinochet said on Tuesday it was time to hold U.S. President George W. Bush and his allies to account for waging war in Iraq.

In an opinion piece in the newspaper El Pais, published on the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon said the war was “one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history”.

[end excerpt]

MADRID, March 20 (Reuters) - The judge who tried to jail Chile's former dictator Augusto Pinochet said on Tuesday it was time to hold U.S. President George W. Bush and his allies to account for waging war in Iraq.

In an opinion piece in the newspaper El Pais, published on the fourth anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion, Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon said the war was "one of the most sordid and unjustifiable episodes in recent human history".

"We should look more deeply into the possible criminal responsibility of the people who are, or were, responsible for this war and see whether there is sufficient evidence to make them answer for it," Garzon wrote.

"There is enough of an argument in 650,000 deaths for this investigation and inquiry to start without more delay," he said.

Garzon, who became famous in 1999 when he tried to extradite Pinochet from Britain and try him for crimes against humanity, was particularly critical of the former Spanish government, a major backer of the Iraq invasion.

"Those who joined the U.S. president in the war against Iraq have as much or more responsibility than him because, despite having doubts and biased information, they put themselves in the hands of the aggressor to carry out an ignoble act of death and destruction that continues to this day," he said.

In February, Spain's former leader Jose Maria Aznar said he now knew Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction but "the problem was not having been clever enough to know earlier."

Garzon wrote: "If he didn't know enough, he should be asked why he didn't act prudently, giving United Nations inspectors more leeway instead of doing the opposite in total submission and fidelity to President Bush."

Gaspar Llamazares, head of the left-wing party Izquierda Unida, said he would present a motion to the Spanish parliament that leaders behind the war should face international tribunals.

"People cannot be allowed to make decisions that cause hundreds of thousands of victims, fail to recognise their errors and not have to answer to a court," said Llamazares, whose party is allied to the ruling Socialist party.

Garzon, who took a sabbatical last year to study international terrorism, said the Iraq war had helped incite hatred and garner more support for terrorist training camps.

"In some way, with a terrible lack of awareness, we have been and are helping this monster grow more and more and strengthen by the minute so it is probably invincible," he said.

By Agencies Republished from Al Jazeera English

The criminal scandal deepens with White House

A US congressional panel has authorised legal orders for several White House aides to testify under oath about the firing of eight prosecutors.

A House of Representatives judiciary sub-committee agreed to authorise subpoenas if Karl Rove, a senior political adviser to the US president, and others refuse to testify voluntarily under oath.

[end excerpt]

Bush aides ordered to testify

Link

Pressure is mounting on Gonzales, right, to quit over the scandal [EPA]

A US congressional panel has authorised legal orders for several White House aides to testify under oath about the firing of eight prosecutors.

A House of Representatives judiciary sub-committee agreed to authorise subpoenas if Karl Rove, a senior political adviser to the US president, and others refuse to testify voluntarily under oath.

The action came a day after George Bush vowed to oppose any subpoenas. He offered instead to allow aides to answer questions from investigators, but only behind closed doors, not under oath and with no transcript taken of their exchanges.

Democrats called the offer unacceptable.

Deepening scandal

Recent disclosures about the firings of eight US attorneys have ignited a firestorm over whether the prosecutors were pushed out for political reasons and have prompted calls for Alberto Gonzales, the attorney general, to resign.

John Conyers of Michigan, a Democratic representative and chairman of the full judiciary committee, said he hoped that the White House and congress could reach an agreement to avoid a confrontation.

"I hope we can work this out," Conyers said. He said in a brief interview after Wednesday's vote that he planned to talk to the White House again later in the day.

"Sometimes things look gloomy and then all of a sudden they look better," he said.

But Bush appeared to be in no mood to compromise on Tuesday, saying he would oppose any effort to drag aides to Capitol Hill for a "show trial".

"I will oppose any attempts to subpoena White House officials," Bush said.

Bush has reaffirmed his support of Gonzales, but a few of his fellow Republicans in congress have joined a number of Democrats in saying the administration would be better off if Gonzales stepped aside.

Several lawyers removed by the US justice department headed by Gonzales have said that they were sacked after refusing to launch what they say were politically-motivated corruption inquiries involving Democrats.

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