Genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms have been around for decades. Tinkering with DNA yielded new drugs to cure terrible diseases and other medical miracles for the human race, like limbs that regenerate. However, there have been some wild, experimental examples of new creatures created in labs, too.
Species hatched by innovation bring with them issues of ethics, environmental consequences and the good, old-fashioned cringe factor.
Check it out. A fluorescent zebrafish visible even during Earth Hour. Kinda. The GloFish appears to glow in the dark and comes in dazzling colors like Starfire Red, Electric Green, and Sunburst Orange.
Oxitec has created mosquitoes that are programmed for sudden, early death. The idea is to release quick-dying males to mate with wild females, passing on lethal genes that kill the young before they can reproduce. The short-lived bugs could help control the spread of dengue fever and other diseases.
Also called the “ryunkin” goldfish, this translucent water creature was created by researchers at Mie and Nagoya universities in Japan. The see-through goldfish sports see-through skin that reveals a beating heart, brain and other internal organs. The idea was to eliminate the need for dissecting fish for lab experiments, a practice opposed by animal rights groups.
Dolly the Sheep
The world’s first mammal cloned from an adult cell was created in 1996 and died in 2003, living about half as long as a typical sheep. She developed a lung disease common in older sheep.
Dolly the Sheep was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland, and never left. Today, Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, the scientist who cloned Dolly from a mammary cell, is working on using human skin cells to treat diseases like Parkinson’s.
Filed Under: Animal & Plant Life