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Old 6th August 2017, 09:53 AM   #1
Mackenberg
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Now trending: Russian "How to make a homunculus" videos

My son alerted me to these videos, which purport to show a method for creating an artificial lifeform by injecting a chicken's egg with human semen. After incubation, the eggs are cracked open and seemingly disgorge various bizarre creatures. The videos have been on YouTube since 2015 but are now undergoing a bit of viral spread.

Taking the obvious biological impossibilities as read, some of the "creatures" do exhibit realistic movements. Skeptics have created more-or-less convincing demo. videos of their own, using modeling clay and magnets to illustrate how the illusion might be performed.

The clay and magnet explanation is, however, less convincing in debunking some of the more elaborate "creatures". I strongly suspect that the creator of the original videos has been experimenting with organic props and puppets; basically - as my son pointed out - reinventing the Feejee Mermaid for the YouTube generation. A section of beef tongue makes a plausibly organic slug-like "body", especially when animated by concealed magnets; glue on some live, writhing maggots (yes, this is as revolting as it sounds) and the illusion is complete.

Copycat videos have also appeared, some featuring complete living animals such as shrimp emerging from the egg shells.

It's all very distasteful, but also an interesting example of hoaxer ingenuity.
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Old 6th August 2017, 10:49 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
My son alerted me to these videos, which purport to show a method for creating an artificial lifeform by injecting a chicken's egg with human semen. After incubation, the eggs are cracked open and seemingly disgorge various bizarre creatures. The videos have been on YouTube since 2015 but are now undergoing a bit of viral spread.

Taking the obvious biological impossibilities as read, some of the "creatures" do exhibit realistic movements. Skeptics have created more-or-less convincing demo. videos of their own, using modeling clay and magnets to illustrate how the illusion might be performed.

The clay and magnet explanation is, however, less convincing in debunking some of the more elaborate "creatures". I strongly suspect that the creator of the original videos has been experimenting with organic props and puppets; basically - as my son pointed out - reinventing the Feejee Mermaid for the YouTube generation. A section of beef tongue makes a plausibly organic slug-like "body", especially when animated by concealed magnets; glue on some live, writhing maggots (yes, this is as revolting as it sounds) and the illusion is complete.

Copycat videos have also appeared, some featuring complete living animals such as shrimp emerging from the egg shells.

It's all very distasteful, but also an interesting example of hoaxer ingenuity.
I got shown this while running a program in schools for 11 to 13 year old boys.

What kind of took me back was how much they believed it, and that the reason was that they were so popular they had to be real.

As a trend it kind of scares me. The Internet should be a great tool for debunking this garbage but the rise of Internet culture is promoting it.
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Old 6th August 2017, 10:53 AM   #3
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Old 6th August 2017, 11:17 AM   #4
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The important question is, how do they taste?
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Old 6th August 2017, 11:39 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
I got shown this while running a program in schools for 11 to 13 year old boys.

What kind of took me back was how much they believed it, and that the reason was that they were so popular they had to be real.

As a trend it kind of scares me. The Internet should be a great tool for debunking this garbage but the rise of Internet culture is promoting it.
My son also works with kids in that age range and it bothers him for the same reasons. To be fair, there are also quite a few debunking videos out there, but of course they don't attract nearly the same attention.
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Old 28th August 2017, 10:21 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by shemp View Post
The important question is, how do they taste?
They taste just like chicken.
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Old 15th September 2017, 01:42 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
As a trend it kind of scares me. The Internet should be a great tool for debunking this garbage but the rise of Internet culture is promoting it.
The internet is a great tool for debunking this garbage.

Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
My son alerted me to these videos, which purport to show a method for creating an artificial lifeform by injecting a chicken's egg with human semen.
I guess a "which came first" pun would be inappropriate for this thread?

Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
Taking the obvious biological impossibilities as read, some of the "creatures" do exhibit realistic movements. Skeptics have created more-or-less convincing demo. videos of their own, using modeling clay and magnets to illustrate how the illusion might be performed.

The clay and magnet explanation is, however, less convincing in debunking some of the more elaborate "creatures". I strongly suspect that the creator of the original videos has been experimenting with organic props and puppets; basically - as my son pointed out - reinventing the Feejee Mermaid for the YouTube generation. A section of beef tongue makes a plausibly organic slug-like "body", especially when animated by concealed magnets; glue on some live, writhing maggots (yes, this is as revolting as it sounds) and the illusion is complete.
That's possible, and it wouldn't necessarily be unheard of for people to go to some thoroughly disgusting lengths for a neat effect I guess; but in 2017 it's not even necessary. Take the following video for instance - part of a vastly larger sci-fi project that's worth having a look at in its own right, but that's a digression I suppose - here you'll see an effect that required no "real" grossness at all to produce an effect not at all dissimilar from the kinds of things you see in these "homunculus" videos:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE
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Old 15th September 2017, 12:19 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
My son also works with kids in that age range and it bothers him for the same reasons. To be fair, there are also quite a few debunking videos out there, but of course they don't attract nearly the same attention.
Yeah I tried that, but there was this odd vibe of "this is boring so if you believe it you are not cool". It seriously felt like I was talking to aliens. "Who the hell watches this ****" was a direct quote in regards to debunking videos.
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Old 16th September 2017, 02:59 PM   #9
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The modular body footage is fascinating but the "homunculus" video I was thinking of pretty clearly was just a hunk of beef tongue with some maggots glued to it, puppeteered via magnets. That said, I'd be willing to bet that the purveyors of homunculus videos would love to get their hands on some modular body tech.
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Old 16th September 2017, 03:02 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by sadhatter View Post
Yeah I tried that, but there was this odd vibe of "this is boring so if you believe it you are not cool". It seriously felt like I was talking to aliens. "Who the hell watches this ****" was a direct quote in regards to debunking videos.
Yep - that's why I keep saying that skeptics need to up their pizzazz game and make debunking interesting/gross/cool/etc. enough to keep pace with the hokum.
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Old 16th September 2017, 09:36 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Mackenberg View Post
The modular body footage is fascinating but the "homunculus" video I was thinking of pretty clearly was just a hunk of beef tongue with some maggots glued to it, puppeteered via magnets. That said, I'd be willing to bet that the purveyors of homunculus videos would love to get their hands on some modular body tech.
To be clear, the Modular Body footage is CGI that is part of a science fiction story.
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Old 17th September 2017, 01:00 AM   #12
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That was clear, but thanks.
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Old 6th November 2017, 07:48 AM   #13
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Homunculus

Hello. I don't post here very often, but have come across several youtube videos of people injecting human sperm into eggs. The result is usually a "creature" that seems to be alive. There was another video of somebody doing this, and the result was an actual chicken hatching out of one of the eggs. This video seemed more legitimate and he actually had an egg incubator, but it was probably also a hoax. I just can't find many people debunking these videos, or the experiments being replicated with no results. I could not find anything here on the forum either about this subject.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anybody here had further information. Thanks!

(corrected the spelling of title)

Last edited by JM85; 6th November 2017 at 08:08 AM.
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Old 6th November 2017, 07:51 AM   #14
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Personally, if I want people to debunk videos I would link to said videos. That could just be me, though.
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Old 6th November 2017, 07:53 AM   #15
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That could never, ever work.

An egg is already fertilized by the time it is hatched, or past the time where fertilization is possible.. Even injecting it with Rooster sperm wouldn't do anything, let alone from a completely different animal.
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Old 6th November 2017, 07:53 AM   #16
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNLPXzlz6-I

This seems to be a more popular one. I wasn't sure if linking youtube videos was against some sort of rule.
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Old 6th November 2017, 08:00 AM   #17
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There was a brief thread discussing this back in August and September.
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Old 6th November 2017, 08:02 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
Anyway, I was just wondering if anybody here had further information. Thanks!
Here's some information: it's spelled "homunculus".
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Old 6th November 2017, 08:04 AM   #19
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If I were you, i'd stick to the traditional method:

https://www.stufftoblowyourmind.com/...er-horrors.htm
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Old 6th November 2017, 08:15 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HNLPXzlz6-I

This seems to be a more popular one. I wasn't sure if linking youtube videos was against some sort of rule.
Link as many as you like.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DBQdAsDtTio
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Old 6th November 2017, 09:22 AM   #21
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Yes, I actually came across this video, and thank you for posting it. I was looking for an actual scientific experiment done by somebody to actually replicate the results to see if this had any legitimacy at all. The video's by the Russian man are pretty ridiculous, and were probably made with clay and magnets, yes.

This one is harder for me to understand:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LskwRc0f2g

(By the way, I realize now that this topic was sloppily created. Sorry about that! I was looking for a topic here that was more of a back and fourth debate from people more knowledgeable than me, but couldn't find one.)
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Old 6th November 2017, 09:27 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
........ I was looking for an actual scientific experiment done by somebody to actually replicate the results to see if this had any legitimacy at all......
Nobody would do such a stupid and pointless experiment. We know it can't work. Once an egg has been fertilised, it has been fertilised. End of story.

Besides, you are falling for the classic "prove a negative" thing. The onus is on those clowns pushing this crap to demonstrate that all of biology for the last 300 years is wrong, and that they are right........not the other way around.
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Old 6th November 2017, 09:48 AM   #23
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I should clarify that the video above is supposedly an unfertilized egg. Also I never argued that the onus shouldn't lie with the person making the claim, but I'm looking for an unbiased experiment where the results won't be manipulated. Unless the person making the claim is under the right conditions (like with the million dollar challenge) then I'm suspect of the results.
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Old 6th November 2017, 09:53 AM   #24
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If chicken-human hybrids were so easy to do, we'd have 5000 year old literature of these as pets or slaves or something. In other words, it would be news as old as the pyramids, and then some.
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Old 6th November 2017, 10:19 AM   #25
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I'm pretty sure that by the time an unfertilized egg is laid the period when it could be fertilized is long past. You'd have more success by artificially inseminating a hen with human sperm. Oh, wait -- you wouldn't!
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Old 6th November 2017, 10:19 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
I should clarify that the video above is supposedly an unfertilized egg.
And?
You can't fertilise an egg once it's started to form.
Definitely not once it's been laid.

ETA: Ninja'd!!
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Old 6th November 2017, 10:43 AM   #27
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http://www.bbc.co.uk/ethics/animals/...mbryos_1.shtml

Then how was this possible?
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Old 6th November 2017, 10:52 AM   #28
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That's done with DNA editing through vectors - similar to GMO crops.
In science, Xenopus frog eggs are a favorite for such manipulations because they are big and see-through. Much better than chicken.

These are Huma hybrids only in the sense that they have some human genes, usually associated with diseases scientists want to study - quicker, easier and ethically less problematic.

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Old 6th November 2017, 12:37 PM   #29
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I have to admit that I'm not sure of whether it's just not possible, or if these scientists are choosing not to fertilize an egg (like people supposedly did in the youtube video) for ethical reasons.

But yes, after closer examination there seems to be a distinct difference with what they're doing in the article, and what the youtubers are claiming to do, which is inseminating a chicken egg with human semen. I'm curious to know if scientists could use this same technology to do the latter though.

Now what surprises me is this subject hasn't been discussed and debunked here! And there is very little about this on other skeptic websites. Any further information would be appreciated.
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Old 6th November 2017, 12:42 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
Now what surprises me is this subject hasn't been discussed and debunked here! And there is very little about this on other skeptic websites. Any further information would be appreciated.

because most people here can smell this kind of BS from miles away.
A hint is if some guy in a youtube video does it, but no one in the scientific community has published anything about this.
I have the greatest respect for people who spend their days debunking baitclick, but I couldn't stand the idea of seeing thousands of people believing such **** on a daily basis.
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Old 6th November 2017, 01:47 PM   #31
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As though in the thousands of years of human breeding of animals, no one tried this. I find that hard to believe.
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Old 6th November 2017, 02:30 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
I have to admit that I'm not sure of whether it's just not possible, or if these scientists are choosing not to fertilize an egg (like people supposedly did in the youtube video) for ethical reasons.

But yes, after closer examination there seems to be a distinct difference with what they're doing in the article, and what the youtubers are claiming to do, which is inseminating a chicken egg with human semen. I'm curious to know if scientists could use this same technology to do the latter though.

Now what surprises me is this subject hasn't been discussed and debunked here! And there is very little about this on other skeptic websites. Any further information would be appreciated.
There is nothing to debunk. You may as well claim a rhino can mate with a horse and produce unicorns. You've been told so often that this is completely and utterly impossible that your continued pursuance of "I'm not sure if it's possible" is starting to sound very much like trolling. It's *********** impossible FFS. Which bit of that are you struggling with?
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Old 6th November 2017, 02:55 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
Hello. I don't post here very often, but have come across several youtube videos of people injecting human sperm into eggs. The result is usually a "creature" that seems to be alive. There was another video of somebody doing this, and the result was an actual chicken hatching out of one of the eggs. This video seemed more legitimate and he actually had an egg incubator, but it was probably also a hoax. I just can't find many people debunking these videos, or the experiments being replicated with no results. I could not find anything here on the forum either about this subject.

Anyway, I was just wondering if anybody here had further information. Thanks!

(corrected the spelling of title)
The incompetent believe, the knowledgeable know the others are ignorant tools.. The videos have so many edits they do not need other tricks - and anyone knowing much science knows it cannot work and why it cannot work!!!
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Old 6th November 2017, 03:49 PM   #34
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[url="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/health/human-pig-embryo/index.html"]

Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
There is nothing to debunk. You may as well claim a rhino can mate with a horse and produce unicorns. You've been told so often that this is completely and utterly impossible that your continued pursuance of "I'm not sure if it's possible" is starting to sound very much like trolling. It's *********** impossible FFS. Which bit of that are you struggling with?

No, my intention wasn't to troll, or to bait anyone into an argument. I legit don't know if it's impossible to fertilize a chicken egg in a lab with human DNA, and create some sort of hybrid. I find the subject interesting, and heard they did something similar to a pig. I can't say it's impossible without an explanation as to why it isn't.

Last edited by JM85; 6th November 2017 at 03:50 PM.
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Old 6th November 2017, 04:01 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
[url="http://www.cnn.com/2017/01/26/health/human-pig-embryo/index.html"]




No, my intention wasn't to troll, or to bait anyone into an argument. I legit don't know if it's impossible to fertilize a chicken egg in a lab with human DNA, and create some sort of hybrid. I find the subject interesting, and heard they did something similar to a pig. I can't say it's impossible without an explanation as to why it isn't.
If you sincerely don't understand, then go to a library and read about genetics and cross-breeding. It's not a new subject.
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Old 6th November 2017, 04:02 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by JM85 View Post
I legit don't know if it's impossible to fertilize a chicken egg in a lab with human DNA,
A Chicken has 78 Chromosomes.
A Human has 48 Chromosomes.

In contrast
A horse has 64 Chromosomes
A donkey has 64 Chromosomes
The hybrid offspring, a mule has 63 Chromosomes and is missing one chromosome and is sterile.
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Old 6th November 2017, 04:12 PM   #37
TheGoldcountry
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Originally Posted by Matthew Ellard View Post
A Chicken has 78 Chromosomes.
A Human has 48 Chromosomes.

In contrast
A horse has 64 Chromosomes
A donkey has 64 Chromosomes
The hybrid offspring, a mule has 63 Chromosomes and is missing one chromosome and is sterile.
I almost brought this up, but I think our OP would do themselves benefit with even a small amount of reading.

ETA;A human has 46, but I suspect you knew that and just typed too fast.
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Last edited by TheGoldcountry; 6th November 2017 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 6th November 2017, 04:22 PM   #38
Trebuchet
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Originally Posted by MikeG View Post
You may as well claim a rhino can mate with a horse and produce unicorns.
Which is obviously ridiculous, since rhinos have two horns and would produce a bicorn.

Horses and narwhals might have possibilities, however.
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Old 6th November 2017, 04:23 PM   #39
Matthew Ellard
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Originally Posted by TheGoldcountry View Post
I almost brought this up, but I think our OP would do themselves benefit with even a small amount of reading.
We split with from apes roughly 7 million years ago. Apes have an extra pair of chromosomes. You can directly calculate which two ape chromosomes joined permanently at their ends, to make one human chromosome, to allow humans to diverge.

This threads claim, that a chicken's 78 chromosomes could split into 39 base pairs and reconstitute a living creature, with a humans 23 base pairs.....is just silly.
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Old 6th November 2017, 04:40 PM   #40
Giordano
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And it's not just the number of chromosomes but how the genes are distributed on them. This is immensely different in chickens and humans. Even the sex determination genes/chromosomes are very different in birds and people: birds have Z and W sex chromosomes and males are the homogametic sex (ZZ) whereas the females are the heterogametic sex (ZW) unlike in humans where XX are females and XY are males. There are also many, many other incapabilities- I doubt that a human sperm could even bind to and penetrate a chicken ovum, let alone successfully induce cleavage. Not a chance it could allow for any sort of development.

JM85- here is just one discussion of how even closely related species often have strong barriers to cross-fertilization:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reproductive_isolation
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