Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Gene Editing, Changing the Way Animals Look

Changing the way animals look is starting to take it too far.  For years scientists have been using animals to test many scientific ideas, including medications, cancer, or genetic variations. I understand that certain animals such as mice and flies are easy to manipulate, along with having a quick reproductive cycle. Along with that, they ironically have very similar reactions to these tests like humans would. It is understandable that things cannot just be tested on the human population but things are going too far.

In this article, geneticists and scientists are using a gene editing system that affects a genome so the enzyme Cas9 can actually slice DNA and add brand new genes into the sequence. This idea is still being twisted and turned to come out perfectly, but it is in production. It is beginning to change the way animals look. One scientist stated that this allows them to change or manipulate anything they want without even knowing the DNA sequence. This is going way too far.

I do not think new animals should just be made up. This is no longer testing animals to benefit and help humans or other animals, its beginning to mess up and disturb the natural world. I do not think this is fair to do this to animals, they do not have a voice and they cannot say "please don't do this to me". Its very disturbing to me. If we have the technology today to do something like this, then we have the technology to make fake animals to test on, similar to the dummies they have in hospitals and medical schools to help students learn. There is no need to continue testing like this and completely change animals.


  1. I agree with you completely. This is crossing the line into animal cruelty. If they are not doing this to further research that could aid with humans, it's not necessary. It may be a cool new discovery but it is harming the animals for general pleasure and it's changing what does not need to be changed.

  2. I recently read an article on a similar idea. My article said how gene editing was being used to correct conditions in non-diving cells. I think by changing the physical appearance of an animal is not animal cruelty but could simply be desirable in some aspects. For example, if a species, lets say a mouse, is introduced to a new area, they could genetically modify the mice to blend in with it's surroundings. The genes that are responsible for coat color can be altered to help the mouse in this instance. I don't see how the gene editing can hurt the animal as much as you are concerned.

  3. Domestication of animals has led to us trying to get the ideal genes we wanted in animals by breeding them with the best available traits that have mutated. However, this seems more "God-like" with powers than using the laws of nature to get what we want. To a certain degree, I absolutely think this is interesting. Most of me though thinks this can only lead to worse things. What happens when we can completely alter human genes for looks! I do not think using animals unless we have to for genomic testing or research of any kind is ethical. This technique may have some benefits but just to alter thinks physically for fun seems unjust and like a waste of time.