Chimera of the Week, Number 1: a human-pig. A ‘milestone study’, but towards where, and on what road? Also a millstone, perhaps. #mscedc

Hum, this Tweet would probably have communicated better had it contained a URL. No wonder I managed to say so much in it! The reference is to this article:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jan/26/first-human-pig-chimera-created-in-milestone-study

The article’s headline resonated for me, having just read this from Haraway (2007: 35):

“By the late twentieth century, our time, a mythic time, we are all chimeras, theorized and fabricated hybrids of machine and organism. In short, we are cyborgs. The cyborg is our ontology; it gives us our politics. The cyborg is a condensed image of both imagination and material reality, the two joined centres structuring any possibility of historical transformation.”

The under-lining is mine. I’m struck by the stepped assertions Haraway makes, from ontology to politics. I recognise she’s doing what she sets out to do, that is, “to build an ironic politic myth” (p.34). In a future posting, I want to work out a longer reflection on her essay. Here, it was the word ‘chimera’ that resonated for me. It was a word I had to look up a meaning for, and ask someone how to pronounce it. It is, it seems, a word to get used to.

In a curious use of the word ‘education’, at 2:56 minutes into the video within the above article, one of the scientists says of stem cells that “they can educated to become a heart, a liver, or a pancreas”.

This seems an extremely instrumentalist use of education. It feeds into the questions I have about such advances in my Tweet: perhaps the use of the word is incidental, but whither education, with such extensions in its linguistic usage?

 

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