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Discussion About Genetically Modified Dogs

  • Subject: Life
  • Category: Family
  • Topic: Dog, Pet
  • Pages 2
  • Words: 996
  • Published: 08 April 2022
  • Downloads: 40
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Did you know that dogs are the oldest domesticated animal? In the beginning of time a “dog” started out as a wolf. Over generations, us humans treated the wolfs how we treat our dogs now. Over time wolves evolved into dogs and passed down the traits they had like the size, intelligence, excetera. The modern biotechnology made it possible for us to make these genetic changes in the dogs, giving dogs the traits we think they need or the traits we want them to have. Genetically modified organisms for dogs is beneficial for the environment and other species to help give them a healthier, and longer life.

Dogs have become a big part of our society, especially because of how we treat animals nowadays is because of dogs. We are treating dogs and other animals the same when it comes to genetic modification. Dogs are being genetically modified by the way they are bred with other dogs, hoping for a certain outcome. Studies showed that thirteen breeds were genetically divergent from modern breeds, which can be due to how different the environment is now compared to how it was years ago. Along with that there new diseases, and new characteristics or traits found in dogs.

The purpose for an animal to be genetically modified is with the intention to improve important traits such as growth rate, intelligence, characteristics, almost anything you can change such as traits can be made through genetic modification. Although genetically modifying dogs are positive, there are certain points making genetically modified dogs a good thing. Dogs have now been engineered to resist certain diseases, along with having a faster growth rate, and are able to be healthier. Even though there are some positive points while genetically modifying dogs, overall it is still negative.

The genetic modification is done by breeding two dogs for the outcome of better traits for example, people have bred a pug and a beagle called “puggle puppies” for certain reasons. By breeding the pug and beagle it gives them healthier traits inherited from the beagle, but still the body of the pug. A big trait that is eliminated is the head shape of the pug that makes them have trouble breathing properly. Along with breeding it is showing great traits being inherited from one dog to another.

Although there are many positives to genetically modify dogs, there are some negatives to genetically modifying dogs as well. Genetic modification has increased over the years and has brought up some ethical issues involving the animals welfare. While a dog is being modified to fit the owners “wants” in a dog for their better interest, the dog is dealing with the conditions from the modification/ other surroundings. Many health problems can happen due to traits inherited. It is said that that there are safer ways to make our dogs healthier than to genetically modify them.

When curing diseases in humans people who will test the disease, exactly like how dogs are now being altered to see new diseases and mimic human diseases, for biomedical research, meaning dogs are being used for testing, costing dogs lives. Researchers are hoping to create dogs with human diseases like Parkinson’s and muscular dystrophy. They are testing ways to cure human diseases by putting that diseases inside of the dog to see how it will react, and what they can do to help cure the disease.

There are many ways that dogs are being modified/engineered for example, dogs can be modified by taking dogs with the traits you want also known as “designer dogs” and breeding them for the outcome you wanted, including breeding dogs from the same family, causing diseases or other things. Another way dogs are becoming genetically engineered is by some drugs/ medication that has been coming out that is changing the DNA sequence in the dog making it modified.

Although breeding dogs for the outcome of healthier traits or changing the sequence in a dog’s DNA. we don’t know what the outcome will be. The testing for genetic modification is not always fully tested, it is only tested for about 90 days, but that is not enough time to see all the risks and factors played into the testing.

All over the world dogs are being genetically modified, as we speak even. According to an article from the center for genetics and society, called “first gene -edited dogs reported in China”. In 2015 they stated how they created a beagle with double the amount of muscle mass by deleting a gene called myostatin; myostatin is what deals with the muscle growth. As said in the article they intend to keep creating dogs with DNA mutations. With deleting a part of the dogs DNA to make them more muscular it can be very dangerous for the dog, the dog then is lacking a gene other dogs have, which could be very dangerous; possibly creating help problems.

It is important to keep the generations of dogs/breeds of dogs continuing on for future generations. In the future we are trying to cure any future diseases with the engineering of DNA that we can do now with lab work. As stated in the article from the center for genetics and society it states that, “Dogs are very close to humans in terms of metabolic, physiological, and anatomical characteristics.”

Along with the lab work we can do for DNA changing and the new engineering of dogs, we can discover that with doing the DNA from one species to another it can save lots of research and unlike waiting for the unpredictable, with lab tests and DNA we can find out more information on animals then just doing research without animals.

In conclusion, genetically modifying dogs are helping us discover new traits to be found in dogs, and helping scientists discover new diseases. By genetically modifying dogs it is helping us for the future to be prepared for new diseases and plan for the future. Genetically modifying dogs is important to help with dogs a better and healthier lifestyle.  

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