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.


Biopolitical Times
"Black-footed Ferret Kits" by USFWS Mountain Prairie is licensed under CC BY 2.0 The New York Times published on February 18 an enthusiastic article about a black-footed ferret, hailing it as “the first of any native, endangered animal species in North America to be cloned.”

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"People across the country have made it clear that they don’t want to eat genetically engineered salmon, and food retailers are clearly listening” – Friends of the Earth

Top grocery retailers Walmart, Costco, Albertsons, Kroger, Ahold, Aldi, Trader Joe’s, Whole...

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The mouse embryos looked perfectly normal. All their organs were developing as expected, along with their limbs and circulatory and...

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This spring, the biotechnology company Oxitec plans to release genetically modified (GM) mosquitoes in the Florida Keys. Oxitec says its technology...

Biopolitical Times
Woolly mammoths

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Kazuto Kato

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embryo

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a single tree on a hill with birds flying in the sky

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2 giraffes

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GMO corn field with signs

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