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Hermaphrodite Created in a Test Tube

On July 1st, we report that an aborted fetus can now become a mother. Martin Hutchinson writes in bbcnews.com that the bizarre experiments haven't stopped: a U.S. scientists has created a hermaphrodite embryo that is both male and female.

Dr. Norbert Gliecher created the mixed-sex embryo to cure illnesses, but critics say it could lead to an ethical dilemma. The process he used creates a "chimaera," which is a blend of two embryos that each has its own separate genes. No one knows if these embryos could have developed into babies, since they were destroyed after a few days, but sometimes cells from two different embryos do fuse naturally in humans and become one individual, and this causes no apparent bad effects on the baby.

Australian researcher Alan Trouson says, "I really can't see the logic of what he is trying to do?it seems completely flawed to me. Unless you can be certain you are doing some good, you should not be doing something that could cause harm."

Is this another sign that it may be our final hour? Find out by listening to Whitley's interview with British Astronomer Royal Martin Rees on Dreamland this weekend.

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