From the London Telegraph:
A new report into experiments which transplant human cells into animals for medical purposes said scientists may not be far from giving apes the ability to think and talk like humans.
Concerns about the creation of talking apes should be taken seriously along with "what one might call the 'Frankenstein fear' that the medical research which creates 'humanised' animals is going to generate monsters", it was claimed.
A regulatory body is needed to closely monitor any experiments that risk creating animals with human-like consciousness, spawning hybrid human-animal embryos, or giving animals any appearance or behavioural traits that too closely resemble humans, the report said.
Scientists would, for example, be prevented from replacing a large number of an ape's brain with human cells – as has already been done in simpler animals like mice – until much more is known about the potential results...
Ethical rules needed to curb 'Frankenstein-like experiments' on animals
22 Jul 2011
In a similar vein (and with a nice commercial tie-in to the new Rise of The Planet of the Apes film) the Telegraph also warns of the dangers in developing the monkey brain with human brain cells, or creating primates with human characteristics such as speech...
Scientists warn of 'Planet of the Apes' scenario
22 Jul 2011