The Glowing Puppy, Ruppy

A living glow in the dark puppy? If you think this happened with the help of science, well, then you are thinking right. Scientists in North Korea cloned the first fluorescent beagle puppy named Ruppy by combining red fluorescent genes that sea anemones produce. The purpose of this normal by day, glowing by night puppy was not just to find it when it’s running away in the dark. Bioengineers are working to expand a transgenic technique (combining genes from two different animals) in order to begin to pave the way for modeling human diseases in dogs which have a longer lifespan than do rats and mice. Specific human diseases scientists could one day study by means of transgenic dogs include cancer, narcolepsy, and blindness.glowing-puppy1

Now, glowing puppies is very concerning to me even if it could cure disease. It leads down what I feel to be a very slippery slope that we have seen science go down before. Right now, these puppies really have no use to the scientific community besides to develop and expand the transgenic technique. Greg Barsh, a geneticist at Stanford University said,

“I do not know of specific situations where the ability to produce transgenic dogs represents an immediate experimental opportunity.”

I conclude from this that one day we may be buying dogs from the labs rather than from the breeders. Changing up the genes of dogs may really have gone too far at this point.

From the bioengineered rice that farmers are growing in parts of Asia, to the herbicide resistant soybeans …should we be doing these types of bioengineering until they are proven safe, effective, and absolutely necessary? There are still long-term consequences for the environment from growing these foods, and perhaps if these bioengineered puppies made it to homes they could over breed, and this could have long-term consequences as well. What would you think if you saw a glowing puppy up for adoption? I believe there needs to be more regulations put on bioengineering companies and research to prevent its abuse. Should there be more limits on these bioengineering companies?

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One Response

  1. Glow in the dark puppies?! That is so odd. It also makes me nervous what scientists are doing and what the side effects could be. I know that bioengineers currently do have a lot of regulations placed upon them, but I’m sure there are always ways to bend the rules.

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