The humble sheep is no longer bred for milk and fur alone. Scientists have discovered a way to breed sheep with partial human organs, the world’s first human-sheep chimera. This is done by injecting the sheep’s foetus with human stem cells. The sheep has eighty-five percent animal cells and fifteen percent human cells. This paves the way for animal organs to be used for human organ transplants. The person sitting next to you in the bus may have the lungs, heart or brain transplanted from a sheep. In the future, the mass farming of sheep may be utilised for human organ transplants to fulfil the need of patients waiting fruitlessly for organ donations. The list of patients grows by the year but the list of donors remains disappointing.


Yet will there be any side effects when human organs are grown in sheep and then transplanted into the human body? Will we also transfer viruses and bacteria which may not be harmful to the sheep but may be deadly to the human species? A step forward for humanity or a fall into the dark hole? Science cannot provide all the answers to quell our doubts. But when the technology is discovered, can it ever be reversed or halted? We can no longer look at the lamb or sheep as innocent creatures to supply us with milk, meat and fur. We have seen into the future and our knowledge has made us different.