Genetically engineered animals

Using genetic engineering to more intensively exploit animals for human food production is an idea that has gained much more traction in recent times. Genetically engineered sheep and pigs were first developed in 1985, although none of these applications saw an actual breakthrough. In the end, only supposedly fast growing genetically engineered fish were brought to market. At the same time, genetic engineering became a notable driver of increasing numbers of animal experiments. Apart from the above, genetically engineered mosquitoes have been released to diminish the size of natural populations. In future, so-called ‘gene drives’ may be used to genetically engineer or even eradicate whole natural populations of ‘undesirable’ rodents or insects.

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