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About Animal Technologies


Many applications of animal cloning and genetic modification are controversial for environmental, health, animal welfare, and social reasons.

At least eighteen animal species have been cloned since 1996, when scientists produced Dolly the sheep, the world's first cloned mammal. Then and now, only a tiny percentage of cloning attempts produce live offspring. Many of these clones are unhealthy, and some leading scientists believe that none are "normal."

Nonetheless, animal cloning efforts continue. Some are justified as scientific experiments. Others are commercial ventures, either to produce pets for consumers or breeding animals for the livestock industry. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the inclusion of meat and milk from cloned animals (without labels) in the  food supply.

Like cloning, genetic modification of animals is remarkably inefficient. It is being pursued for several purposes. Genetically modified (or transgenic) animals are commonly used in research. Efforts are underway to produce transgenic pigs as a source of organ transplants, transgenic fish for food, and transgenic livestock that resist animal diseases. In a practice sometimes called pharming, several mammalian species (cattle, sheep, and goats) have been genetically engineered to produce commercially useful human proteins in their milk. Fish engineered to glow in the dark have been developed and marketed as pets. Proposals to clone extinct species, particularly mammoths and neanderthals, regularly appear in the news media.



You Can't Clone Dogs Without Lots of Suffering - Why Scientist who Created World First 'Frankenstein Pet' has Quit by Christopher BucktinMirrorApril 12th, 2014Lou Hawthorne is the forefather of cloning yet, after two decades and 20 other genetically engineered pooches, he has turned his back on the industry, sickened over the suffering it causes thousands of dogs each year.
DNA Dreamsby Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesApril 9th, 2014The documentary film that explores the inner workings of BGI Shenzhen, “the world’s largest genomics organization,” is now available in full on YouTube.
CRISPR Reverses Disease Symptoms in Living Animals for First TimeGenetic Engineering NewsMarch 31st, 2014MIT scientists report the use of a CRISPR methodology to cure mice of a rare liver disorder caused by a single genetic mutation.
Researchers Claim Stem Cell Advanceby Monte MorinThe Los Angeles TimesMarch 27th, 2014Researchers at Oregon Health and Science University say they have successfully generated embryonic stem cells using fertilized mouse embryos, a feat that many scientists had thought was impossible.
Martha, My Dear: What De-Extinction Can’t Bring Backby Elizabeth KolbertThe New YorkerMarch 12th, 2014To bring a lost animal back because people might like to see it, or because they might feel better imagining that it’s not entirely gone, or just to demonstrate that it can be done is a vanity project, and nothing else.
The Mammoth Comethby Nathaniel RichThe New York TimesFebruary 27th, 2014Bringing extinct animals back to life is really happening — and it’s going to be very, very cool. Unless it ends up being very, very bad.
First Transgenic Monkeys Born Via “Precision Gene Editing”by Jessica CussinsBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014Chinese scientists announced the birth of the first primates created with a precision gene modification technique, raising both hopes about new insights into human diseases and concerns about new attempts at human inheritable genetic engineering.
Americans Still Oppose "Playing God" with Geneticsby Pete ShanksBiopolitical TimesFebruary 6th, 2014Public disapproval of inheritable genetic modification and attempts to revive extinct species is as strong as ever.
Animal and Pet Cloning Opinion Pollsby CGS StaffFebruary 4th, 2014Americans strongly disapprove of pet cloning, and oppose animal cloning in general.
First Monkeys with Customized Mutations Bornby Helen ShenNatureJanuary 30th, 2014Researchers in China report the first monkeys engineered with targeted mutations using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing system.
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