World's First 'Spotty Dog' and Cow-Like Sheep Created Using Gene Editing
Researchers at the state-run Xinjiang Academy of Zootechnical Science in China have bred five sheep with different coat colors using the new gene-editing tool known as CRISPR-Cas9.
Researchers in #Xinjiang change #sheep colors by gene editing, known as CRISPR-Cas9 https://t.co/2iz5Uhzrqr— China Xinhua News (@China Xinhua News)1465346965.0
According to Xinhua, two of the sheep have black and white fur "like cows," another two have black with white spots like "spotty dogs" and the fifth sheep has brown and white like "unstirred cappuccino."
This is the first time that scientists have altered the coat colors of large animals using the controversial technique, the Chinese publication noted. Color alteration has been previously achieved on mice.
"The lambs, born in March, have become our lovely pets," head researcher Liu Mingjun told Xinhua, adding that with the CRISPR-Cas9, pet owners can order their pets with customized fur coloring.
He also noted that consumers will be able to buy wool products in various colors that doesn't need to be dyed.
The research team reportedly edited the animals' ASIP gene which affects the color of their fleece.
Genome engineering sheep to look like spotty cows #CRISPR #CustomisedFur #DesignerLivestock #BarrrMooo https://t.co/GWRzCYjK5o— VIB Tech Watch (@VIB Tech Watch)1465375588.0
"The application to large animals indicates more strains of animals, not limited to livestock, will be developed via the approach, with different patterns not limited to coat colors," Liu said about the burgeoning CRISPR technique.
"Compared with traditional gene mutation approaches in which researchers take decades to breed a new strain, gene editing is much more effective."
Translation: these are genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on a whole new level. Compared to say, Monsanto's Roundup Ready Bt corn that contains a gene from the bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis or AquaBounty's GMO salmon that has a gene from eel-like ocean fish, CRISPR-edited foods, like the mushroom mentioned below, or animals, like the "spotty dog" sheep, are altered without adding genes from another species.
As Gizmodo described, the CRISPR-Cas9 allows scientists to precisely edit specific genomes:
Cas9 is an enzyme that snips DNA, and CRISPR is a collection of DNA sequences that tells Cas9 exactly where to snip. All biologists have to do is feed Cas9 the right sequence, called a guide RNA, and boom, you can cut and paste bits of DNA sequence into the genome wherever you want.
The CRISPR is bringing a whole new dimension to the GMO debate, which Americans largely distrust.
There are already several CRISPR projects in development, including DuPont’s drought-resistant wheat and corn, a banana that can resist a fungus that’s threatening its extinction and a herbicide-resistant oilseed from the biotech company Cibus.
In April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) paved the way for the first food product—a common white button mushroom genetically altered to browning—made with the CRISPR-Cas9.
#GMO #Mushroom Sidesteps UDSA Regulations https://t.co/Gr1aIt4Bk6 @markhymanmd @foodandwater @NonGMOProject @nutiva https://t.co/bF2FuzJjk9— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1461078334.0
The USDA said it will not regulate the potential cultivation and sale of the mushroom because they had "no reason to believe that CRISPR/Cas9-edited white button mushrooms are plant pests" and "do not contain any introduced genetic material."
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
- Singapore Will Plant One Million Trees by 2030 - EcoWatch ›
- Australia to Build the World's Largest Solar Farm to Power Singapore ›
- Giant Water Battery Cuts University's Energy Costs by $100 Million ... ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Tara Lohan
In 1999 a cheering crowd watched as a backhoe breached a hydroelectric dam on Maine's Kennebec River. The effort to help restore native fish populations and the river's health was hailed as a success and ignited a nationwide movement that spurred 1,200 dam removals in two decades.
Transmission lines from the Churchill Falls generating station in Labrador. Douglas Spott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Atlantic sturgeon were brought to the brink of extension in the 20th century and are now are listed as an endangered species. NOAA
Near Happy Valley-Goose Bay on the Churchill (Grand) River downstream from Muskrat Falls. Douglas Sprott / CC BY-NC 2.0
Construction of the Site C dam in British Columbia in 2017. Jason Woodhead / CC BY 2.0
The Block Island Wind Farm off the coast of Rhode Island is the first U.S. offshore wind farm. Dennis Schroeder / NREL / CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
We pet owners know how much you love your pooch. It's your best friend. It gives you pure happiness and comfort when you're together. But there are times that dogs can be very challenging, especially if they are suffering from a certain ailment. As a dog owner, all you want to do is ease whatever pain or discomfort your best friend is feeling.
The excess carbon dioxide emitted by human activity since the start of the industrial revolution has already raised the Earth's temperature by more than one degree Celsius, increased the risk of extreme hurricanes and wildfires and killed off more than half of the corals in the Great Barrier Reef. But geologic history shows that the impacts of greenhouse gases could be much worse.
- Earth Is Hurtling Towards a Catastrophe Worse Than the Dinosaur ... ›
- Are We Doomed If We Don't Curb Carbon Emissions by 2030 ... ›
- Humans Release 40 to 100x More CO2 Than Volcanoes, Major ... ›
By Teri Schultz
Europe is in a panic over the second wave of COVID-19, with infection rates sky-rocketing and GDP plummeting. Belgium has just announced it will no longer test asymptomatic people, even if they've been in contact with someone who has the disease, because the backlog in processing is overwhelming. Other European countries are also struggling to keep up testing and tracing.
Meanwhile in a small cabin in Helsinki airport, for his preferred payment of a morsel of cat food, rescue dog Kossi needs just a few seconds to tell whether someone has coronavirus.