Obscura |||

Building a Nonhuman Human

I recently read that a Mongolian gerbil has an ear structure like humans which means that using them in studies could help eventually help researchers to better understand a rare ear condition called superior semicircular canal dehiscence (SSCD).1

This led me back to a passage I read in the book Stiff by Mary Roach where she got the impression that it would be possible to construct an entire functioning nonhuman human from pieces of other species.”2

Apparently, the heart of a pig is a particularly close match to ours. The human knee most resembles the brown bear’s. Our lungs are similar to that of a Goat’s. A Jersey cow (at about six months old) closely resembles our human brain. And according to Roach, emu hips are dead ringers for human hips.”

With a combination like that Frankenstein’s monster wouldn’t look so bad after all!

  1. Rutgers University, 17 Feb 2023. How the Mongolian gerbil may help speed recovery of a rare inner ear problem: Scientists develop testing model to enhance understanding of a condition known as third window syndrome”. ScienceDaily. LINK↩︎

  2. Mary Roach, 2004. Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers. W. W. Norton & Company.↩︎

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