Parahuman or para-human is a neologism for a human-animal hybrid or chimera, an entity that incorporates genetic elements from both humans and non-human animals. The term is also related to "cybrids" (cytoplasmic hybrids), with "cybrid" cells featuring foreign human nuclei inside of them being a topic of interest.
There are several reasons for which parahumans or chimeras might be created, including medical and industrial purposes (e.g., the production of drugs and organs suitable for organ transplantation) or to reveal knowledge about the function of the human body (e.g., by creating mice with a human-like immune system to study AIDS or with a brain incorporating human nerve cells).
Ethics and legal frameworks
Moral and ethical discussions
Jeremy Rifkin has stated that a situation akin to Aldous Huxley's novel Brave New World could arise if scientific safeguards do not exist. Some organizations have called for international measures to be set up relating to human genetic modifications, viewing such research as an ethical 'crime against humanity'.
Some transhumanists have seen possible human-modifying technologies as one of many ways to overcome fundamental human limitations that currently cause suffering, such as disease and aging, and pointed out the many potential commercial and medical benefits from fully realized para-human experimentation. A 2005 statement issued by the World Transhumanist Association argued specifically that there "should be no penalties for adults who knowingly modify their own reproductive cells" given that it "is every parent’s obligation, and the obligation of society as a whole, to ensure that the next generation is as healthy, long-lived and able as possible."
- "Arts: The Parahuman Sculpture of Patricia Piccinini, Posthumanity and What It Really Means to be Human". H+. October 11, 2013. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- "Position on Human Germline Genetic Modification". transhumanism.org. December 24, 2005. Retrieved January 21, 2015.
- Reason: What Is Too Human?
- Linda MacDonald Glenn: When Pigs Fly?
- Scientists grappling with chimera ethics
- What is a human admix embryo? at the Wayback Machine (archived December 25, 2008)