Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that tea cup piglets are amazing. I will also admit that it is my goal in life to own one, but I wanted to know more about how they were genetically modified.
In China, a group of scientists have discovered a way to genetically create real pygmy pigs. Now, they are not new to the world, but unfortunaltey most pygmy pigs are runts of litters or suffer from having the dwarfism gene. With this new genome sequencing technique, actual tea cup pigs that will forever stay little are becoming big.
How They Do It
Scientists stunted the growth of male genes by using enzymes called transcription activator-like effector nucleases. After doing this, they had the male pig reproduce with a genetically normal female.This made sure that only half of the babies born wold be genetically modified, while the rest stayed normal pigs. “The team chose this method in order to dodge the potential health hazards involved with cloning,” says the article.
Now, these pigs are not only being made for the demanding public. They are also being produced to become the subjects for many tests. “pigs are one of the better models for human diseases,” and they are also much smaller which makes handling them in labs so much easier to do. However, now that they can make these perfect pygmy pigs, they are selling them for high costs to people all over the world.
Another debate about these pigs, are whether or not it is ethical to genetically modify animals. Problems can arise when the sole purpose of making these animals is for them to be small. “‘”It’s questionable whether we should impact the life, health and well-being of other animal species on this planet light-heartedly,”’ geneticist Jens Boch says.”
It Might Be Alright Though!
So far, these pigs have shown no sign of having any health risks. The scientists also believe that in the near future, buyers will be able to choose the color they want their new baby. And while others agree with the claims that it is unethical, others believe that it is the same as breeding two different animals together. They are creating genetically modified and changed offspring. What is the difference?
Tell me what you think about pygmy pigs? Is this wrong to do, or is it ethical and simultaneously giving the public what it wants?