Re: offspring, ape and man.

Keith Norris (keith@GECKO.BIOL.WITS.AC.ZA)
Mon, 15 Jul 1996 14:32:44 LOCAL

In article <4sce0v$> (Tdewater) writes:
>From: (Tdewater)
>Newsgroups: sci.anthropology.paleo
>Subject: offspring, ape and man.
>Date: 14 Jul 1996 23:30:39 -0400
>Organization: America Online, Inc. (1-800-827-6364)
>Lines: 3
>Message-ID: <4sce0v$>
>Reply-To: (Tdewater)

>Is it possiable to mate an ape and a human and have an offspring ? If yes
>has it been done and what was the child like ? If one has any data on
>this please send it to and comment here.

I would seriously doubt it is currently possible. However, it would be
probable that if it were done a large number of people (esp., but not limited
to, religious types) would be very upset and would demonstrate a lot. In this
regard it may do more damage to science than good. One day I am sure we will
overcome the species barrier to make mating possible between at least closely
related species. It would still be difficult as many genetic problems would
have to be overcome, for instance much of the timing of development.

Keith Norris

P.S. A developmental biologist sitting next to me (Stephen is his name) is
saying that I am talking doyle as sperm must recognise the ovum through
biochemicals on the head which must link with the egg. I say it may be
possible to overcome this through artificial sperm entry, but Stephen argues
that as the sperm enters the egg a chemical reaction occurs, the whole
machinary is set into action with the original recognition. Chromosomes will
also not link up, biochemical reactions will be different, and even if these
were overcome the foetus would probably abort due to the conflicting
phenotypic signals. On this point I agree - a serious amount of genetic
engineering may be necessary to allow it. Anyway, a hot topic! It is
important to remember that this is the whole reason for the concept of
species, i.e. species remain separated due to species recognition factors
keeping different organisms apart. As yet it is only possible to keep a
chicken foetus alive out of the egg for 72hrs max, so artificial means are as
yet out of the question.