21 October 2015


Mutant dogs with super-powerful muscles have been created in China

Scientists from Guangzhou have bred dogs with super-powerful muscles, resorting to genetic engineering. This is written by The Independent (Genetically-engineered, extra-muscular dogs created by Chinese scientists).

As part of the research, experts from China were the first in the world to remove one of the genes of experimental beagles, as a result of which dogs with the nicknames Hercules and Tiangou had twice as powerful musculature than their relatives. In addition, the animals have become more hardy.

In order to make the animals stronger, scientists removed the gene responsible for the production of myostatin, a protein that suppresses the growth and differentiation of muscle tissue. Its blocking leads to a significant increase in lean muscle mass with almost complete absence of adipose tissue.

In the future, scientists intend to use genetic engineering methods in order for dogs to develop human diseases, such as muscular dystrophy or Parkinson's disease. Due to the similar anatomy, physiology and metabolism of the species, this will help researchers understand the nature of diseases and find new methods to combat them.

The CRISPR-Cas9 method was used to edit the genes of dogs. It consists in the fact that a double-strand break is introduced into the DNA. In this case, the incision is made in a place that is programmed by the small RNA molecule that is injected into the cell. In this way, genomes can be point-edited directly in living cells.

It was with the help of CRISPR-Cas9 that Chinese scientists from Sun Yat-sen University first modified the genome of human embryos (in April 2015).

According to the researchers, such mutant dogs can be used for law enforcement purposes.

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