Friday, January 01, 2016

GMO Pets Not Made by the AKC

Scientists in China say they are now able to gene edit dogs using the new CRISPR tool which is both relatively inexpensive and much more precise than anything that has preceded it.

Is their first project to make healthier dogs? Nope. It's to make diseased ones. Researchers with the Key Laboratory of Regenerative Biology at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, say they intend to create dogs with DNA mutations to mimic human diseases such as Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy.

The first mutation out of the box was a simple deletion of a gene called myostatin which resulted in a dog with double the normal amount of muscle mass.

The Key Laboratory of Regenerative Biology
says it has no plans to breed extra-muscular beagles as pets, but other teams in China are not restricting themselves. A different Chinese Institute, BGI, has already begun selling gene-edited miniature pigs as pets. 

Dogs are a particularly attractive research animal for gene-editing because many big visual changes, such as fur type and ear shape, are controlled by a single gene. The CanMap gene research project determined that every single biological difference affecting dogs' appearance is controlled by one of around 50 gene variations.

Bottom line:  We will not only have clone dogs in the future, but also GMO dogs. Only time will tell if this will result in healthier, smarter, and more biddable animals.


NoMooseStew said...

Not sure what good this will do but the cloning I am against. I think thousands to help so many dogs in shelters would be a better use of the money.
I lost a dog this summer. I miss her to death but I would never clone her. It wouldn't her personality or spirit in my opinion.


jeff hays said...

A new world is upon us.
I AM conflicted by all this, would I clone my last rescue, or a dog from my past? Would it make me happy,or sad? Would my clone have the same personality and quirks that made my dog who it was?
I will, I suppose, in time, become more comfortable with all this.Right now I have my doubts if this is all going to turn out OK.