Do you like the idea of GM made war dogs with double the muscle mass?

Giant natural mutation WhippetI was flipping channels the other night and settled on Sherlock Holmes elementary. This episode was about conspiracies and GMO wrecking the food chain and another conspiracy about the US military creating muscle bound war dogs that were smarter, muscle bound killing machines.

Like many tv plots lately, they are based in a grain of truth - but then it took a weird twist and the dog turned out to be a killer robot dog.

However after a quick internet search I soon found an article written in 2015 about China pretty much doing the exact kind of gene meddling that they were talking about in the tv show.

As Chinese scientists seem to be much less hindered by global rules and condemnation, they are enjoying a golden age of unchecked development.

In developed countries this kind of research has been experimented on dogs for years to assist in ridding the world of genetic based diseases.  While this is morally ambiguous at best, the new innovations are more sinister and clandestine.

" The scientists create beagles that have double the amount of muscle mass by deleting a certain gene, reports the MIT Technology Review. The mutant dogs have “more muscles and are expected to have stronger running ability, which is good for hunting, police (military) applications”, Liangxue Lai, one of the researchers on the project, told the magazine." Ref 1

Anyone who has a casual interest in dog breeding will know that all of the most fearsome dogs built by humans in the past by intense breeding programs have created many unstable dogs that many families have tried to enjoy as family pets in urban homes to mixed results.  Hence the wolf dog hybrids even.

While there is much controversy surrounding new killer hunting dogs that are bigger and faster and more aggressive, GMO programs using gene technology above behaviour and temperament concerns are incredibly stupid.

How to make Frankenstein dogs

"To create the dogs, researchers edit out the myostatin gene. If that is inhibited, animals can gain significantly more muscle mass and become much stronger than usual." ref 1

If you like the look of the whippet in this article, then GM dogs might be for you. Even though this whippet was a result of natural mutations - that seem to occur more often in whippets than other breeds where they stack on double the muscle mass.

Though in some quarters people still think that playing god, creating more effective killing machines as dogs, is potentially thwart with danger.

As if to excuse the technology the report goes on to say " Losing the myostatin gene happens naturally in whippets, and leads to the creation of double-muscled “bully whippets” who are much more strong than standard animals." ref 1

Some people might argue when we have recently had designer dogs created purely for look, again ignoring behaviour traits and stability, then why not gmo build these killing machines?

Unfortunately there are very few ethics committees that work globally for the benefit of dogs. If there were makeup testing would be banned on all animals.

For the average human and average dog, walking them off lead in the dog park builds sufficient muscle and gives a dog an optimum life.  If only people could spends more time walking their dogs than ...

Ref 1


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