Scientists Breed Ultraviolet Dog

Glowdog from MSNBC

“Scientists say they have bred a dog that glows under ultraviolet light when an antibiotic is added to its food,” says MSNBC.com.

Why? Because “the gene injected to make the dog glow can be substituted with genes that trigger fatal human diseases [such as Alzheimer’s].”

First they clone puppies from genes from jellyfish to get the fluorescence, then comes a genetically modified beagle named Tegon. It isn’t too clear from the article if Tegon was born from the cloned puppies, or lab-grown independently (they use the word “create” liberally, which brings to mind echoes of Frankenstein and what happened to THAT scientist).

Now, I don’t want to get Alzheimer’s disease any more than you do. The stats say one in eight WILL get it, so the next time you hang out with seven of your friends, think about that and see how comfortable you feel.

I’m just not sure, and never will be sure, that tampering with animals is the way to go. I don’t want Alzheimer’s, but I also wouldn’t want to be subjected to a battery of forced tests, illnesses, discomfort and pain just because my gene pool is a good match. But see, so far I have that choice, and the animals don’t.

It’s tricky. What do you think? All for science at any cost so long as it benefits us? Should people be the ones offering themselves up for experiments? Are we looking far enough ahead to potential hazardous results?

I know these are broad questions, but I invite your take.

2 thoughts on “Scientists Breed Ultraviolet Dog

  1. I am all for furthering our scientific knowledge but I think humans should be used as subjects if that is who the end product will be used on. We want the cure or immunization, why not risk our own life for the lives of the rest?

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    • It’s a tough call either way, especially when it gets personal. Abstractly I think we’d get better results if people would be the “test subjects,” though I can understand the need to protect one’s own. Which brings up the point that these tests are often not humane and do cause pain and suffering, which is why we turn to animals who don’t have the choice to say no.

      Yet would I be willing to sacrifice an animal–conventionally cute or not–personally known or not–if I saw my mom or dad display signs of Early Onset Alzheimer’s Disease? And what if it were me? Would I be willing to undergo the same tests?

      It’s a very sobering concept and one I’m not prepared for. But I may have to be some day.

      Here’s another person who’s using genetically modified mice for his Alzheimer’s Disease research: https://research.unsw.edu.au/people/dr-thomas-fath

      Thanks for responding. You’ve made me explore my thoughts on this even more.

      Like

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