Animal Biotechnologies

A range of methods are being used to create genetically modified and cloned animals for research and livestock purposes, and cross-species chimeras for research or to create organs for medical transplants.

Genetically modified animals are created by altering the genes of animal gametes or early embryos, and using those reproductive cells to impregnate an animal. Cloned animals are typically produced with a procedure known as somatic cell nuclear transfer, which involves transferring the nucleus of a body cell from the animal to be “copied” into an egg cell that has had its own nucleus removed. The resulting embryo-like construct can then be triggered to begin developing, and used to initiate a pregnancy. Chimeras are created by combining genetic material from different species, sometimes including humans, into a single embryo.

Many applications of animal biotechnologies are controversial for environmental, health, animal welfare, and social reasons. For example, only a small percentage of cloning attempts produce live offspring and many animal clones are unhealthy; some leading scientists believe that none are “normal.” Human-animal chimeras raise safety concerns about whether new diseases could be transmitted to humans, legal issues about whether such creatures can be patented and owned, and the troubling possibility that they could display human-like behavioral characteristics.


Aggregated News

Within the Defense Department, one agency’s recent project sounds futuristic: millions of insects carrying viruses descend upon crops and then genetically modify them to withstand droughts, floods and foreign attacks, ensuring a permanently secure food supply.

But in a warning...

Aggregated News

For the first time, scientists have demonstrated that a controversial new kind of genetic engineering can rapidly spread a self-destructive genetic modification through a complex species.

The scientists used the revolutionary gene-editing tool known as CRISPR to engineer mosquitoes with...

Aggregated News

The promise of a sequenced genome is like a wrapped present, containing exactly what you always wanted but never knew...

Aggregated News

Guoping Feng applied to college the first year that Chinese universities reopened after the Cultural Revolution. It was 1977, and more...

New born being held in doctor's hands.

Aggregated News

Mosquito on skin

Aggregated News

Mosquito on skin with green background

Aggregated News

Mosquito standing on leaf/green background

Aggregated News

Blue stained stem cells and green stained fibrin on black background

Aggregated News