Re: offspring, ape and man.

Nick Maclaren (
23 Jul 1996 17:03:15 GMT

In article <4sgo2c$>, (Aleta v. Turner) writes:
|> (Tdewater) wrote:
|> >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.
|> Several years ago, I was told of a study where a sperm and egg were
|> put together from a human and an ape, a gorilla, I think, because of
|> the same number of chromosomes. A zygote did result, and was allowed
|> to develop to blastula stage, at which point, it was destroyed. It
|> was reported in one of the journals, perhaps Science, but
|> unfortunately, I have never seen the original piece. Maybe someone
|> who is familiar with this study, or any similar ones, can comment with
|> more detail.

While this may be based on truth, it is also an urban legend, and I
first heard that rumour several decades back. The technology for
in-vitro fertilisation developed at about the same time as the
hysterical campaign against any research on human reproduction.
The claim that certain laboratories have been cross-breeding
humans and apes has been made regularly by extremists, but never

However, it is possible (even likely) that the experiment was done,
though probably not in a country with long-standing traditions of
some control on medical experiments (such as the USA and UK). What
I have more difficulty believing is that a journal such as Science
would have published it, even 25 or more years ago, because of the
risk of being caught up in the politics.

Nick Maclaren,
University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory,
New Museums Site, Pembroke Street, Cambridge CB2 3QG, England.
Tel.: +44 1223 334761 Fax: +44 1223 334679