调查发现美国支持人-动物嵌合体研究

2021/3/19 11:15:13 本站原创 佚名 【字体:

编译   廖联明

  20159月,美国国立卫生研究院暂停资助一项涉及将人类多能干细胞植入动物胚胎的研究。专家表示,这一研究对推动再生医学领域至关重要。为了了解人们对人-动物嵌合胚胎研究的态度,研究人员对430名美国人进行了调查。这项调查的结果发表在101日的《干细胞报告》杂志上,调查结果发现82%的人支持这项研究,或至少支持研究的部分内容。

明尼苏达大学法学教授、哈佛马萨诸塞州总院法律、大脑和行为中心执行主任Francis Shen说:重要的是,美国公众对这类研究是强烈的全面支持。我认为这表明了公众对再生医学在解决各种器官疾病方面的变革潜力感兴趣。

第一作者、明尼苏达大学神经外科系研究员Andrew Crane说:在当前的政治局势下,公众的支持态度比我想象的要好得多。

    Crane和明尼苏达大学神经外科和干细胞研究所的教授、资深作者Walter Low,他们对干细胞在帕金森氏症等神经性疾病中的应用进行研究。其中一个项目的重点是在猪脑内生成人类神经干细胞。

这项研究包括两次的数据收集:227名参与者在20187月完成了问卷测评,另外203名参与者在20206月完成问卷测评。参与者是通过亚马逊的一项名为Mechanical Turk的网站招募的,完成问卷测评后将获得1美元的报酬。

问卷调查旨在通过询问参与者根据个人感受愿意接受哪些方面的研究,来评估对人-动物嵌合胚胎研究进展步骤的看法。例如,它包括先将人类干细胞注射到猪胚胎中,然后将该胚胎移植到猪子宫中,产生一头带具有人体器官的猪,最后将该器官移植到人类患者体内。它还按器官细分研究,一些器官类型的支持率高于其他器官类型:心脏61%,血液64%,肝脏73%,皮肤62%,而精子/卵子和大脑的支持率分别为44%51%

Crane说:“关于将人脑细胞植入动物大脑,我们曾听说过对动物具有人类某种意识的担忧,但这与目前的科学水平和我们在研究中试图倡导的任何事情都相去甚远。我们明白这是一个不能掉以轻心的问题,但这不应该阻止我们推进研究。”

这项调查还旨在评估文化差异,研究人员惊奇地发现,即使是在宗教和文化保守派中,支持率也相对较高。反对这项研究的最大影响因素是对动物权益的担忧。

Shen 表示这项研究的三个最大问题是动物的福利,人类尊严以及神经系统人性化的可能性。我们很乐意组织小组讨论,更深入地研究其中的一些问题。

 

——原文

Survey finds American support for human animal chimera research

In September 2015, the US National Institutes of Health placed a funding moratorium on research that involves introducing human pluripotent stem cells into animal embryos -- a practice that experts say is vital for advancing the field of regenerative medicine. To assess attitudes on human-animal chimeric embryo research, investigators conducted a survey among 430 Americans. The results of the survey, which found that 82% of people are supportive of at least some parts of this research, appear October 1 in the journal Stem Cell Reports.

"The take-home point is that the overall support for this kind of research across the American public is strong," says co-author Francis Shen, a professor of law at the University of Minnesota and executive director of the Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Law, Brain, and Behavior. "I think this speaks to the public's interest in the transformative potential of regenerative medicine for addressing disease in a variety of organs."

 

"Public attitudes were more supportive than I thought would have been possible in the current political climate," says first author Andrew Crane, a researcher in the Department of Neurosurgery at the University of Minnesota.

  

Crane and senior author Walter Low, a professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and Stem Cell Institute at the University of Minnesota, conduct research on stem cell applications for neurological disorders like Parkinson's disease. One project focuses on generating human neural stem cells within pig brains.

 

The study included two waves of data collection: 227 participants were surveyed in July 2018 and 203 additional participants were surveyed in June 2020. The participants were recruited through an Amazon service called Mechanical Turk and were paid $1 for completing the survey.

 

The survey questions were designed to assess opinions on the progressive steps of human-animal chimeric embryo research, by asking participants which aspects of research they were willing to accept based on their personal feelings. For example, it included scenarios about first injecting human stem cells into a pig embryo, then transplanting that embryo into a pig uterus to produce a pig with a human organ, and finally transplanting that organ into a human patient. It also broke down research by organ, with support for some tissue types being higher than others: 61% for heart, 64% for blood, 73% for liver, and 62% for skin, versus 44% for sperm/eggs and 51% for brain.

 

"With regard to putting human brain cells into animal brains, we've heard concerns about the animals having some sort of human consciousness, but that's quite far off from where the science is right now and from anything that we've tried to advocate for in our research," Crane says. "We understand this is a concern that should not be taken lightly, but it shouldn't prohibit us from moving the research forward."

 

The survey was also designed to assess cultural differences, and the researchers were surprised to find that support was relatively high even among religious and cultural conservatives. The largest factor influencing opposition to the research was concern about animal rights.

 

"The three biggest concerns about this research are animal welfare, human dignity, and the possibility of neurological humanization," Shen concludes. "We would love to do focus groups to look deeper at some of these questions."

 

Journal Reference:

    Andrew T. Crane, Francis X. Shen, Jennifer L. Brown, Warren Cormack, Mercedes Ruiz-Estevez, Joseph P. Voth, Tsutomu Sawai, Taichi Hatta, Misao Fujita, Walter C. Low. The American Public Is Ready to Accept Human-Animal Chimera Research. Stem Cell Reports, 2020; DOI: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2020.08.018

 

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