Those Chinese scientists have been at it again.
This time they’ve gone and created genetically-engineered, extremely muscular dogs, after they managed to edit the genes of the animals for the first time, The Independent reported.
According to the MIT Technology Review the scientists managed to delete the myostatin gene from a group of beagles, thus creating animals with double the normal amount of muscle mass.
Liangxue Lai, one of the researchers on the project, told the MIT magazine the dogs have “more muscles and are expected to have stronger running ability, which is good for hunting, police (military) applications”.
This genetic anomaly can happen naturally in whippets, creating extra muscular ‘bully whippets’.
The team now hopes to breed dogs that are modified with human diseases like muscular dystrophy or Parkinson’s. As dogs have a similar anatomy to humans, scientists could study animals with these human genetic traits to help them to understand how they occur.
Apparently this genetic change can also happen to humans on rare occasions. Doctors reported the case of a boy who was born without the gene, and subsequently developed extra muscles and unusual strength.
That boy was Ronnie Pickering (it wasn’t).