Fetal Tissue

Lester D. Stone, EL 65, The Cyborg Self, Brown University, 2006

Abortion is common to death technologies. With an abortion, the fetus turns into a mass of tissue, cells, and possibly organs. These dead fetal cyborgs used in fetal tissue research includes fetal physiological research, development of fetal cell lines, tissue transplantation, and other basic scientific research such as the Human Genome Project. Researchers use fetal cyborgs in tissue research as tools unlike fetuses used by diagnostic technologies. The fetuses, are disembodied and dead but still retain an organic nature. Scientists use these fetuses as therapies for diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's in which fetal cells are directly transplanted into patients' brains. Scientists also use fetuses in the growth and differentiation in the replication of viruses for developing and testing vaccines. Fetus use in screening pharmaceutical agents determines whether they create monsters. Most fetal tissue occur from abortion practices. This gives fetal tissue a very tainted reputation. Dead fetal cyborgs are standard tools in fetal tissue research but the production of these cyborgs is limited due to political pressures. The future of cyborgs rest in political debates concerning the use of fetuses as tissue technology.

History of the Cyborg: Index

Course Website cyborg Body & Self

Last modified 30 December 2006