Environmental Impacts of Genetic Engineering on Wild Animals

Genetic Engineering is the technology to modifying genome in order to change the organism’s traits. It combines different sources of genes with the pre-designed blueprint, produces hybrid DNA molecules, and then inserts them into the living cells to change the phenotype of an organism. Because it directly modified genes, so the changes of traits can be past down to offsprings.

Genetic Engineering can change livestocks and crops by based on our own wish, it is a very important field of science. I don’t want to deny the benefits of it, but I have to point out that genetic engineering does impact wild animals right.

In 2000, researchers in Purdue University found that transgenic medakas might present threats to natural specie. After gene modified, transgenic medakas are larger than native ones, so if they flow into natural habitat, they have advantages on attracting the opposite sex. In this case, the transgenic genes are more likely to survive. The transformed gene can quickly spread to its offspring, and the original population facing the risk of extinction.That is gene contamination.It also has impacts on their interdependent creatures and undermines original ecological balance. According to a report, transgenic medakas grow faster, and they have cold resistance, after they flow to the ocean, it shows a threat to the ecology of wild medakas in the Atlantic and Pacific. The offsprings of genetically modified medaka and wild medaka no longer have roundabout features of regular species.

The value of wild animals is more carried in its genes, and the continuation of the population is more critical. Individual death is inevitable, but the gene can be survived through the population gene pool, that maintains the presence of species. Protecting the individual wild animals is a means of protecting the population, but it is not the purpose.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Genetic_engineering

https://www.purdue.edu/uns/html4ever/0002.Muir.trojan.html

Pictures:

http://www.purdue.edu/uns/images/muir.trojan.jpeg

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