DAILYKENN.com -- The concept of genetically engineering super humans is not new. Joseph Stalin is said to have attempted to create human-gorilla hybrids long before James Watson and Francis Crick discovered DNA in the 1950s. Nietzsche theorized that nature had assembled an uberman; a notion capitalized upon by Adolph Hitler.
Theories of the past, coupled with science, are coming to fruition, assuming the report is true.
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Chinese scientists use CRISPR-Cas9 system to "edit" the genetic structure of Man's Best Friend to create a freakish mutant super dog. Are humans next?
In October 2015 a team of Chinese scientists reported in Journal of Molecular Cell Biology that they were planning to genetically engineer a dog. The dog, Canis familiaris, was selected for their experimentation because they
“...exhibit close similarities to humans in terms of metabolic, physiological, and anatomical characteristics, and thus are ideal genetic and clinical models to study human[s]...”
Beagles were chosen for experimentation.
Researchers from the Key Laboratory of Regenerative Biology at the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health employed a ground breaking gene editing system known as CRISPR-Cas9 which stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats. With CRISPR the researchers were able to locate and edit specific genes with extraordinary precision. The CRISPR-Cas9 system also works fast and costs a fraction of older genetic engineering techniques.
Their effort to modify the Beagle’s genetic structure was a success. It was hailed as a major breakthrough in the field of genetics. The Chinese scientists used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system to precisely cleave or "knock-out" the gene called Myostatin (MSTN). This gene is a
“skeletal muscle mass.”
MSTN functions to make sure that too much muscle tissue does not develop. Without the function of Myostatin, the rapid growth and regenerative capacity of muscle tissue would proceed unchecked. This would lead to a condition in which an individual or animal becomes muscle bound and debilitated. The Chinese scientists effectively the MSTN gene, allowing more muscle development without any apparent negative side effects. The result was a dog with TWICE the muscle mass of a normal or “wild-type” dog.
The dog with the most notable change, designated
“male puppy #11”
Subsequent genetic testing of “male puppy #11” indicated that Hercules, in genetic terms, was
“a chimeric mutant dog.”
It’s naturally occurring “wild-type DNA” related to Myostatin was not present. The Chinese researchers, using the CRISPR-Cas9 system, were able to completely replace this specific sequence of the dog’s natural DNA to create the mutation resulting in the extraordinary muscle mass.
Genetic testing indicated that the muscle-enhancing genetic mutation of Hercules would propagate to the dog’s offspring. Furthermore, the researchers discovered that
“the mutation can be transmitted to the next generation,...”
via natural mating habits of the mutant dog.
The researchers expressed no desire to genetically engineer and then breed these super dogs for commercial purposes. However, they acknowledged that others
“could move quickly to commercialize gene-altered dogs, potentially editing their DNA to change their size, enhance their intelligence...”
The choice of dogs for this kind of genetic experimentation is not by accident. The decision to target and then modify the gene that regulates muscle mass is not coincidental. According to David King, director of Human Genetics Alert, the success of the Chinese researchers to genetically alter dogs is
“...the first step to creating mutant children.”
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