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dafack01

The wonders of modern genetic engineering to the rescue of endangered

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Check out this article I saw on Yahoo. A Japanese genetic engineer has successfully messed around with male Rainbow Trout stem cells to end up producing Japanese Masai Salmon that, when they spawn, end up producing fully functional Rainbow Trout! The trout even spawn (and spawn successfully). Japan is hoping to do this with Mackerel that produce Bluefin Tuna babies, and Utah (if I remember right) is now going to try this on Rainbow Trout in hopes of boosting their Sockeye Salmon population.

 

Cool Fish Conservation Potential Linky

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i have read about this for some time now. well mixed feelings, i think its great we can help keep populations of fish healthy, i just think were messing with the big guys work. maybe the real lesson is to be better stewards to our planet and not have to worry about it in the first place, just my thoughts on it. Best regards Paul

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That's really interesting. The surrogates apparently are naturally sterile, so they don't have functional reproductive organs. The stem cells are already marked for North American trout reproduction and develop normally in a different species.

 

IPB Image

 

The study of genetics is another new frontier. Right now because work on the genetic level with cells and embros is so new its hard to imagine what we will eventually be able to do.

 

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That is to close to cloning for me! I think Im against any type of that!!! It is not natural.

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The ultimate (for me) would be to restore a healthy, thriving, naturally reproducing population of fish. When used with discretion and solely as a means to jumpstart a struggling species, AND in conjunction with other conservation and restoration projects that deal with habitat restoration and the like, I see this as a useful tool.

 

I do emphasize with discretion though. I would be against using this as a primary means of sustaining a population.

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Not exactly cloning, but I do agree somewhat with Matt...."Natural selection. Some things just end"...and that just seems a bit too weird from the sounds of what they are doing :unsure:

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I may sound weird, but all it is is a 21st century hatchery procedure, and it's certainly not cloning. It's no more unnatural than pacific salmonid species in the Great Lakes or sea-run browns in New England. Most of us (including me) fish for alien species whether we want to admit it or not. Take away the exotics and the most actively discussed species on this site would be whitefish and chain pickerel.

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The methodology of this is not cloning. Cloning is done by emptying an egg of a female and implanting genetic material from that same animal into the egg which then develops in the uterus into an exact genetic replica of the donor. It may not have the same in coat color, or looks, phenotypically, because there are so many determinant factors, but it is the same animal as the donor genetically.

 

Another method that is sometimes confused with this is the use of surrogate mothers and egg transplantation and/or embryo transfer. This method of reproduction is used in extremely expensive, genetically desirable or unusual animals, often cattle, that have monthly cycles but can individually develop only one (usually) offspring per breeding. In the use of surrogate mothers, the desirable donor cow is not bred. She is allowed to have monthly cycles from which her eggs are harvested. These are fertilized by semen from a desirable bull and implanted into the uterus of the surrogate mother, and there may be many of them, each with individual eggs from the original donor; nine months later you get a calf that has the genetics of the true mother and whatever bull she was bred to. By doing this, you can rapidly develop herds of the most desirable animals for breeding, rather than waiting for the much slower route of individual cow breeding that yields only one calf per year.

 

The method of trout reproduction mentioned here is totally different to cloning or egg transplantation. You've got sterile animals which cannot reproduce into which you implant the already differentiated (already determined to be trout) North American trout stem cells that are destined to be the reproductive organs of that species. These cells are so adaptable at this stage that they can develop into the sexual organs of another species, salmon, but retain the ability to produce trout eggs. The trout reproductive system in the salmon produces trout eggs that yield sexually viable trout babies.

 

I see absolutely nothing wrong with this method of reproduction to save a species that man has driven to the point of collapse or extinction by altering their native environment to the point they can no longer live or reproduce in many areas of their former range. It is just another tool in species management and the prolongation of the enoyment of a specific species.

 

Ray

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I agree it's not cloning, but I do see it as different than Pacific salmon in the Great Lakes. Main reason for that is Pacific Salmon in the Great Lakes is more to do with simply transplanting a species...and what is involved in this topic isnt just transplanting a species from one area to another, it's actually messing with the reproductive system of a species and injecting them with somthing that alters their reproduction.

 

Dont get me wrong though I have no real "problem" per say with this, just saying it seems a bit too much of messing with a species genes is all.

 

Steve

 

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It's interesting from a scientific standpoint but to me it seems like we're getting a little too involved in nature. Instead of spending money on research for this we should be spending money on natural conservation. Like cleaning up, enhancing and restoring cosystems so the species can survive naturally. But everyone has their own opinion and morals. Interesting topic.

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It's interesting from a scientific standpoint but to me it seems like we're getting a little too involved in nature. Instead of spending money on research for this we should be spending money on natural conservation. Like cleaning up, enhancing and restoring cosystems so the species can survive naturally. But everyone has their own opinion and morals. Interesting topic.

 

 

Very good point. Using this instead of habitat restoration and cleaning up would be a travesty. It's a very interesting topic though. It is walking the "playing God" border.

 

To play Devil's Advocate, it's easy for you all to say "it's natural selection" if it's Sockeye Salmon in Utah and you live in Michigan. What if it was Great Lakes Steelhead or Salmon or Brown Trout that were in dire need of help? Would you all be more inclined to accept this if your all's favorite fish was in danger of going the way of the dodo in your area?

 

My intention isn't to ruffle feathers as I have some of the same fears that you all do. Some of the genetic engineering feats that we will soon be capable of (ie cloning, tweaking embryos for certain characteristics, etc...) scares the hell outta me. I'm just trying to fuel an intellectual conversation. :)

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I think the use of new methods of fish production, whether trout or others, and habitat rehabilitation and development go hand in hand. You often can't have success without using a lot of both. With all types of reptiles, amphibians and fish, the two main factors in developing and maintaining a healthy, viable populations are habitat and food supply. A lack of either, whether in quality or volume results in a decline eventually of the species.

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This kind of stuff always reminds me of the qoute from Jurassic Park, " Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should".

 

 

To play Devil's Advocate, it's easy for you all to say "it's natural selection" if it's Sockeye Salmon in Utah and you live in Michigan. What if it was Great Lakes Steelhead or Salmon or Brown Trout that were in dire need of help? Would you all be more inclined to accept this if your all's favorite fish was in danger of going the way of the dodo in your area?

 

First, Steelhead are a man made fishery in the great lakes, not comparable to Browns or Salmon. Second, I would look for natural ways to help them first. This sort of thing would be the absolute last thing I would do.

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It's cool that they can do all that stuff, But all it takes is one small mistake, Some little genetic flaw and you have a really big mess. Way to close to "Playing GOD"

 

 

 

Great topic title, LOL :)

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