Scientists have created gene-edited goats, cattle and pigs to produce sperms with traits like better meat quality and disease resistance which they call as a move towards genetically improving livestock to enhance food production.
The researchers have created these animals for the first time in Britain and the US by using a gene-editing tool CRISPR-Cas9. These animals can be used as “surrogate sires”, fundamentally sterile blank slates that can make them be relocated with stem cells that yield the anticipated sperm, the scientist claimed. The scientists further added that with the help of this process, the farmer can produce healthier, and more productive animals through fewer resources like medicines, water, and feed. The breeders in remote areas of the world can also get improved access to the genetic material of the best animals from elsewhere that will allow them for precise breeding.
Washington State University’ reproductive biologist, Jon Oatley is co-leading the work. He stated that this technology can help get better propagation of necessary traits and expand the efficiency of food production. He stated that this can create a chief impact on addressing food insecurity around the globe. He confirmed that if this is tackled genetically, less feed, water, and antibiotics will be used for the animals.
Gene-editing has long been an argumentative subject, but the latest innovation could create resistance from critics opposed to the genetic alteration of animals, which they refer to as risky interference with nature. The scientists confirmed that the gene-editing process they utilized was designed only to bring transformation within an animal species that can occur naturally.
The researchers claimed that they have proof of the concept and exhibited that the technique could work. Because of the present regulations, gene-edited surrogate sires cannot be used in the food chain anywhere in the world even if their descendants would not be gene-edited, the scientists stated.