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Biotechnology And Animals

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Since the beginning of civilisation, it is known that humans have been fascinated by other species and beasts. This is known as ancient cave and rock paintings idolise animal species and the awareness that our ancestors had in the ability animals had in aiding human survival. What a lot has happened in the past 300,000 years. What makes Humans now think they are superior?

Animals have always had a specific purpose for thousands of years. Farm dogs have been bred to herd pasture animals, cows to produce tender meat, horses to be stronger. Modern biotechnology has now become scientifically advanced and there is no known limit of the ability that biotechnology has. This poses the question that just because we can do it, does that mean we should? Genetic engineering is the direct manipulation of an organism’s gene to alter or enhance the species. Humans alter animal species for producing drugs, enhancing yields and provide a higher rate of food. For example, aqua advantage salmon area genetically engineered species that grow at twice the speed of regular salmon. Muscly pigs to produce more meat and mice used in a laboratory for medical testing are just a few species along with the salmon that have unnecessary genetic modification within the species. The world and its scientists can’t predict the effect of biodiversity and whether the negative moral effect on animal altercation outweighs the positives for the economy.

The earth is experiencing a global crisis as the biodiversity decreases and tens of thousands of animal species are becoming extinct every year. Since the 1970s half, the world’s flora and fauna have disappeared. Human is the main reason because greed and money exist. Habitat destruction, introduced species, disease, and climate change all affect the biodiversity and are all results of human “superiority”. Although there has already been a major negative impact on the earth, biotechnology could aid in maintain or improving biodiversity back to where it once was. Craig venter and Daniel Cohen (genetic scientists) are certain that the 21st century and its technological advances will become the “century of biology”.

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‘We are in a bottleneck of overpopulation and wasteful consumption that could push half of Earth’s species to extinction in this century.’ – E.O. Wilson The birth of genetic engineering on animals was in 1973 when a mouse embryo was inserted with foreign DNA. This mouse was the first of many transgenic animals. Since this first success, the rate of genetically modified animals had rapidly increased. The question is, have we gone too far?

Rhino Rehabilitation

In the spring of 2018, the last male of the northern white rhino species died, leaving two unfertile females left of the entire species. Unfortunately, due to poaching and destruction habitat the species have been led to inevitable extinction. This is until an Italian biotechnology lab has been able to create three embryos of the northern white rhino species using biotechnological methods (IVF). This IVF has been conducted by using eggs that have been removed from the two remaining females and the preserved sperm from the last two remaining males. As of January 2019, 3 embryos had been created and are currently stored in liquid nitrogen and plan to use a southern white rhino as a surrogate in the future. If this technique fails and the species isn’t regenerated from the embryos e.g. southern rhino isn’t a suitable surrogate or the embryos can’t reproduce. There are further possibilities. Using preserved skin samples scientists could possibly produce gametes to create further embryos and there could eventually be a healthy northern white rhino population.

Popeye pigs

Popeye pigs are a result of Japanese scientist combining pigs and added a gene from spinach. This creates a healthier meant with low-fat content and proteins from spinach. Although the pigs have been cleared of any health problems there is no need to change the genetics of the species. The real solution is to just eat fewer meats and meat more vegetables. the Popeye pigs are just one of many cases that have no benefit to the animal species and earth.

Belgian blue cows

Genetic modifications and biotechnology may have been beneficial for some species but certainly not the Belgian blue. These cows have been bred to spread the naturally occurring mutation of “double muscling” and can weigh up to 1200kg as full adults while the average weight for other cow species varies from only 700-900kg. The meat industry exploits this mutation for its own advantage and utilities it to produce more meat, therefore, making more profit. These cows are victims of human greed and although they look terrifying, they are almost always carrying several health problems that cause pain. Pregnancies become difficult and calves often have defects. This species suffers from the cardiorespiratory, bone a joint problem and this leads to an uncomfortable existence and premature death. It is well known that the Belgian blue breeders that they struggle and are in pain the majority of their lives, yet they are still bred to improve human quality of life and produce more food and money.

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Biotechnology And Animals. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved August 9, 2022, from
“Biotechnology And Animals.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
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