Saturday, December 12, 2015

In-Vitro Puppies

Thanks to Cornell University, the first in-vitro puppies have been born. The primary end-goal of this project is to preserve endangered canine species, using gene-editing technologies to help eliminate hereditary diseases. The prevalence of these diseases are only heightened by interbreeding, a common practice amongst breeders. Out of nineteen embryos, seven fully healthy puppies were born. Researchers have been making attempts at canine in-vitro fertilization since the 1970’s but have been unsuccessful until now. Considering the similar diseases canines and humans share, they may lead to a better understanding and new scope of how to treat the same diseases in humans.
            This is obviously a beneficial and successful step in genetics and developmental biology. I think it is ironic that humans have found a way to rectify a heritable disease dilemma in dogs that might not exist if it wasn’t for humans in the first place with the relentless need for purebred dogs. Nevertheless, I think this is a safe way to explore artificial selection and genetic enhancements without causing too much disruption. If this were humans, there would be outrage fueled be ye ole “designer baby, slippery slope” argument. In the case of dogs, we are just helping make our family friends a little healthier and happier.


  1. Lauren I could not agree more with your final thoughts. If this type of experimenting was being performed with humans, there would be an uproar. I also do find it quite comical that humans are spending a lot of time and money on a problem that was caused for these animals by us. You made some interesting points.

  2. This is one reason why I am against breeding and breeders, where the breeders increase the risk of certain diseases while trying to breed a dog they like for a certain characteristic. I agree with your point where in-vitro puppies being born in order to help eliminate diseases can lead to a better understanding on how to treat humans.