China’s First Gene-Edited Dog to Help Treat Heart-Related Diseases
They said that dogs are man’s best friend, but in China, it seems like the case is different because there are either torturing them because of a certain traditional festival known as Yulin, or they are actually using them for cloning for the benefit of research. If you actually love dogs, you might feel sorry for his particular one that as been bred with medical disorders, continue reading to find out more.
CHINA CLONE’S PUPPY WITH ATHEROSCLEROSIS
Longlong seemed to be just a normal beagle pup, especially with his brown, black and white fur. However, the puppy has actually been sick ever since he was born, this is because he was actually genetically modified to be that way. Longlong is a puppy that was cloned from another dog named Apple, whose genome was modified to develop a particular disease that is commonly known as atherosclerosis.
This disease is known to be one of the leading causes why people develop heart disease as well as stroke. This genetic information was actually passed onto the beagle so that the scientists could further study the condition itself and test out different possible cures.
It was actually the Chinese company called Sinogene who focuses on biotech, are the ones that created Longlong and this particular beagle is actually considered as the very first cloned dog in the entire world that came from a gene-edited donor. Scientists who led this project claims that this was all made possible because China matched along with South Korea when it comes to the leading cloning technology in the world. This is because South Korea was actually the one to ever clone a dog back in 2005 when they clone the dog named Snuppy which is an Afghan hound.
WHY THE PROJECT CHOSE DOGS
According to Sinogene, Apple and Longlong are not the only genetically modified clone dogs that they created, there are two other canines named Xixi and Nuonuo. The technical director of Sinogene, Feng Chong, said that they have chosen dogs became their inheritable diseases are the most similar ones that humans have which make them the best animal to be used on this research. The technical director also said that this is actually the very first time that scientists have managed to combine bio-technologies’ cutting edge which is the cell cloning technology as well as the gene-editing tool known as the CRISPR. The cell cloning technology was actually the same method that was used to clone the sheep named Dolly.
HOW THIS RESEARCH WILL HELP HEART-RELATED DISEASES
In 2015, it has been reported that about 17.7 million people actually died because of various cardiovascular diseases, making it the number one cause of death not just the United States but all over the world. In fact, there are actually 15.8 million people in the United States that have suffered from heart and attack and stroke from the past year and this is all according to the recent statistics from the World Health Organization or WHO. One of the main causes of different heart-related diseases is the fatty material that clogs up the artery walls which is known as atherosclerosis. This is what they have put into Longlong to be able to identify how exactly they will able to stop, prevent, and cure it.
The experts from Sinogene says that Longlong, as well as the two other dogs, are not exactly showing any signs of any cardiovascular disease but they are of course continuing to keep a close eye on them. In the meantime, the drugs that will be tested to cure them are ready and this is all according to the General Manager of Sinogene, Mi Jidong.
ANIMAL RIGHTS BEING VIOLATED, SAYS PETA
The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals or also known as PETA is an organization that is known to protect the rights of every animal as well as share awareness regarding them. Which is why they believe that this kind of practice wherein they clone and test animals for the benefit of mankind just lie what Sinogene is doing is believed to be unethical.
They released a statement saying that this is definitely violating the animal rights and laboratories in China are also lacking legal protection. China is too far from being on good terms with PETA because of the Yulin Festival as well as China being known as the number one country to produce and use animals for lab testing. China’s National Institutes for Food and Drug Control actually said that China actually uses more than 20 million animals every single year for lab testing alone.
It was reported that in 2016, the government is actually trying to make sure that they will have tougher regulations when it comes to animal testing in laboratories. However, so far, there has been no reported changes in the law regarding the said issue.
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