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Scientists Have Found New Ways To Manipulate Canine DNA


It seems we’ve gotten a step closer to some sci-fi settings where genetically modified super animals are an actual thing – according to Technology Review, scientists in China have managed to utilize DNA manipulation to produce stronger and faster breeds that will be used for certain police and military operations.

There’s a mutation that naturally occurs in the myostatin genes of whippet breeds, causing them to gain some muscle mass. Researchers have come up with ways to stimulate this gene even further in some other breeds, and now they have beagles with twice the muscle mass of normal, unmodified beagles. Liangxue Lai, a researcher with the Key Laboratory of Regenerative Biology at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health explains:

“[The dogs have] more muscles and are expected to have stronger running ability, which is good for hunting, police (military) applications”

The worrying thing about this whole research (apart from the general morality of it) is the way they buff these dogs: basically, they inject a chemical agent into dog embryos. This chemical destroys the dogs’ myostatin genes that naturally enhance their muscle growth. They claim they have conducted enough research to be sure they’re causing the dogs no harm, but we can’t help but feel at least a bit suspicious.

What’s your take on this whole matter – is it a blasphemous mockery of mother nature or a technological advancement we could greatly benefit from?

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