Thursday, February 2, 2017

Gene Editing and Cattle

Scientists in China have genetically edited cattle by inserting a gene that increases their resistance to bovine tuberculosis. This has been tried before, but until this time they have not seen the success with avoiding off target genetic effects. Below we have provided a link to a recent article for your review and encourage you to engage in conversation with others around the globe utilizing the discussion points.

Article: Tuberculosis-resistant cows developed for the first time using CRISPR technology 

Discussion Points

  • Why do scientists in China feel this is such a breakthrough? What are the benefits?
  • Explain the technology they utilized to accomplish this (CRISPR/Cas9). If needed do a quick internet search on the process. There are even many videos on Youtube that explain the process.
  • It was noticed that before this time when they attempted this procedure they would find off target genetic effects. Explain what this means.
  • How do you see this being perceived in your local community? State? Country? And around the world? Will different regions view this science differently?
  • Finally, you are challenged to see both sides of the argument. Some are very excited about this and others are fearful. See if you can list out the arguments from both sides and then try to research what facts there are to support each respective argument.

31 comments:

Karen Grother said...

When they said there were off target genetic effects it meant that parts in the gene changed without them wanting it to. These gene changes could change how the cow behaved or how it looked, it could damage the cow if the change was too severe and in an important part of the gene code.

nick said...

i think that it was good and impressive that their were no negative effects on the cow because most medicine that we have for humans today have so many negative side effects.

BD said...

I think preventing a disease in cattle is great discovery for vet science. Hopefully it will help the farmer and the buyer of the cattle. The only concern is how does this affect the cattle long term and does/will it affect the meat. Every medicine seems to have some sort of side affect, it will be interesting to see what/if any side affects come from this.

Devon said...

i think that this is a great idea to do but how well it affect meat and dairly

Safrancis said...

This is a breakthrough for China because we may now be able to breed and produce cows with this gene, ad potentially others for better resistance to diseases. If we had more cows with this gene, we may be able to have cows immune to specific diseases like Bovine Tuberculosis.

laroyer said...

Sometimes unintentional changes occur to the genetic code as an off target effect. When you want to insert a new gene into a mammalian genome the difficulty can be finding the best place in the genome to insert the gene. You have to hunt through the genome looking for a region that you think will have an impact on other genes.

brent said...

They feel as its a break through because they've tried in the past and were not successful.

paadams said...

Genetically modified cattle definitely has it's pros and cons. When you genetically modify cattle you can make it become immune to things like illness' and diseases. There are other ways to genetically modify cattle also, you can also make them modified to have a better production rate like milk from dairy cattle to meat from beef cattle. Because they do have this gene for the cattle in China, if they send this gene to the US for the cattle, this could prevent many more cases of tuberculosis in cattle.

Ryley Botsford said...

I feel that the genetic modification is a good thing because it helps the cattle from getting thatsickness

BV said...

This is an awesome idea. We can now breed cows with this gene in china and the they can resist disease then this will be an awesome things we can do to our cattle.

MH said...

This is a cool idea because If we can stop cattle from getting certain diseases than the agriculture business will be able to grow and be more successful. The only big issue is how will it affect the meat? This gene could also be useful in vet science for other animals.

Josh Swenson said...

With this new technology it may soon be possible to edit the human genome in the same way.

Chad smith99 said...

The modification is a good thing because it keeps them from getting these diseases.

Brandon K said...

Scientists feel this is a break through because the certain genome they added caused the calves to have more resistance to a disease called Tuberculosis, which could have a positive effect around the world with less cows dying from tuberculosis

MRK said...

I think that using CRISPR technology to develop tuberculosis-resistant cows is a great idea. I believe that by doing this, it could make cows healthier and more likely to live. Also, now we could use this gene editing instead of using antibiotics like we do now. Although, I was wondering on how safe or what effects this could have on the cows.

G.C said...

Tuberculosis-resistant cows is a huge break through to scientists! Not only does this help with the battle against cows getting tuberculosis but, it also shows that scientists have the ability to make animals resistant to different diseases. I predict issues of those against GMOs and things that are scientifically engineered to not exactly agree with tuberculosis-resistant cows and the use of CRISPR. A counter argument to that side of things would be that tuberculosis-resistant cows was achieved with no bad side affects for the cow. Everything was the same about the cow besides its immunity to tuberculosis. I would be interested to see if CRISPR could be used on other animals with a variety of diseases. For example, pigs are extremely susceptible to disease and this process would possibly help the industry alot. Less susceptible to disease would mean less death and more profit for the farmer. Personally, I would be interested to see if this could work on horses. Horses can develop a disease called EPM from possums and other wild life. This disease is almost always fatal and a fear of all equine lovers. It is obvious that horses are not mass produced like cows or pigs but it would just be interesting to see the possiblites of CRISPR and what it could do. G.C

McKenna said...

Tuberculosis in cattle is caused by Mycobacterium Bovis bacteria. This disease is increasing and is the highest in Southern England. Mycobacterium Bovis is killed in sunlight but can survive in acids and alkalis, including moist and warm soils where cows roam. This disease can be transmitted through raw milk and be passed to humans. However, pasteurisation effectively prevents the spread via milk. Genetically modified food helps the resistance of pests, insects and disease on crops and animals, like tuberculosis in cows. Genetically modified animals have genes inserted into their genomes so that they can produce better milk, eggs, and meat. These animals supposedly have higher resistance to disease, better health and are more environmentally friendly. But what happens to these plants and animals that have been genetically modified? Genetically modified things can lead to more allergies, potential health risks, and antibiotic resistance in humans so what happens when we eat these foods? Does it really matter if we eat these foods versus non-GMO foods? -K.P. Somonauk

Chism said...

Scientist think that this is a break through because it is the first time CRISPR/Cas9 has been used to successfully produce live cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis. But is this medicine truly good for the cows? I know it is supposed to be helping but couldn't it give mutations to the calves that are made after this on the medicine? I know that it says that all the 11 calves didn't have any negative effects. Then if we eat the meat will it have any effects on our bodies? -E>C> Somonauk

unknown said...

The point of this technology is to give cows a better resistance to bovine tuberculosis. I have heard of this issue, but did not know how much it affected cows. After doing some research on it I had a better understanding for the technology. In the discussion points it says that before, off target genetic effects were found. I would have to assume that this means that the technology did not change the genetics in the way it was intended to. How did they know what to change about it? Was there something wrong with the technology or was there something wrong with how it was being inserted? The article you wrote says that the CRISPR technology is a relatively easy way to modify genetic code. Does that mean that this system could fix other genetic problems? Coming from a small community, I do not think this would bring much of a problem to few people. Cattle is one of the top 5 commodities of Illinois so this maybe this technology would come as a good thing to cattle farmers. If this problem is hurting them maybe they can be helped. Now in the US, cattle is a large commodity, the CRISPR system could be seen as a good thing to many people, but it could also be seen as a problem to people who's beliefs are against it. I do think that different regions will view this differently because like I said people already have some problems with technology that affects animals so this science could be seen to both help and hurt. What I think is interesting is that in my research I found that both cows and humans can be affected by TB so does that mean that this science could help humans as well? Or even other animals? -E.D. Somonauk

Reagan Orzech said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Reagan Orzech said...

Bovine tuberculosis is a persistent and highly infectious disease of cattle that is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. Unfortunately, this disease is a huge concern in many countries as it can cause livestock deaths, trade restrictions, and can even spread to humans through consuming raw, infected cows milk. However, although this is a problem, there is also starting to be potential solutions, such as new CRISPR technology or gene-editing. Just recently, chinese scientists have used this advanced technology and have successfully produced live cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis. They consider this a major breakthrough not only because it provides a new method of defense, but they were also able to complete this experiment successfully as there were no detected off target effects in the cows after they inserted a new gene. This is impressive as it can be difficult to find the perfect place in the genome and because off target effects are a common problem when working with CRISPR. These genetic effects are any additional, unwanted genetic changes in the animal that can cause them to act or look differently. With all of this positive information being presented, however, it is important to note that genetically modifying cows and animals in general is still a controversial topic. Those who are for the GMO process believe it can be beneficial and a potential step to helping with food insecurity as the cows would produce better milk and meat and would not be wasted. Also, with this breakthrough technology, the cows would no longer have to be slaughtered in order to unsuccessfully try to get rid of the disease. However, for those that despise this scientific concept, which are a majority of individuals looking for clean labels and clean food, they believe that tainting the animals will results in unsafe food for consumption and of course raises ethical concerns. Personally speaking, I believe this is an excellent idea as helping animals fight diseases and make more nutrition food products can impact the growing problem of having to feed 9 billion people in 2050. Overall, CRISPR is making progress and sparking controversy all at once.

My question: Are there any specific countries that will not participate in any GMO’s because of their religious values?

Unknown said...

Scientists in China feel that getting this gene successfully into cows was such a breakthrough because when they attempted to place this gene into cows in previous years, they failed. This is also a huge breakthrough because cows can now be protected against bovine tuberculosis With their new CRISPR/Cas9n technology they were able to get this gene into the genome of a cow and also manage to not have the cow experience any off target effects. What is meant by this is that no other genes changed that they did not want changed; if off target effects were present then the cow may look or even act differently than they normally would. The process that needs to be done in order to place this gene into the specimen is extremely difficult because it has to be placed in exactly the right spot or it will not work. I can see this new, tuberculosis-resisting gene becoming very useful in both Illinois and the United States. Cattle is major commodity of both the state and the country, so having this gene available can protect the cattle and create a better product for the people. One way that I can see this gene becoming controversial is in countries where genetically modifying animals and crops is not accepted. Some people like to produce everything naturally, so they would not take advantage of this new and improved method; by doing so they would be risking their cows getting bovine tuberculosis. I hope that a lot of farmers take advantage of this new method in order to protect their livestock. It will only save cattle from going to waste and spreading the disease all across the globe.
Somonauk J.P.

M.E.T said...

Bovine tuberculosis is a highly tenacious disease that infects cattle, spreads throughout herds and causes death. The Chinese however are able to control this disease through the use of technology advancement, such as gene-editing and CRISPR/Cas9 technology, all of which will have a huge impact for years to come. The use of this advanced technology has allowed the scientists to produce live cattle that are now more resistant to bovine tuberculosis. The Chinese scientists consider this a breakthrough because they were finally able to create this resistant gene, and insert it into the cows without detecting off target genetic effects, as they previously had. The procedure attempted by the Chinese scientists before they made the breakthrough, and before CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology, affected some of the cows genes in a negative way, something they didn’t plan, or want to happen. While the outcome of the tuberculosis resistant gene was favorable, the negative effects of the surrounding genes was not worth pursuing. As they learned a more meticulous and methodological approach to identify the best suited region for gene insertion, they were able to reduce the off target genetic effects.

M.P. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
M.P. said...

Getting any animal resistant to diseases is a huge victory, especially bovine tuberculosis in cattle because it spreads quickly through herds, causing death. Because of improved technology, scientists were able to successfully gene edit. CRISPR technology is now being used in more laboratories because it is an accurate and an easier way to modify the genetic code. With CRISPR technology, scientists have found a way to insert a bovine resistant gene into the cow without it affecting any other genes, like it has in previous experiments. With this new discovery from Chinese scientists, gene editing technology could have a very positive benefit to agricultural livestock and help more than just cattle. I think this is a outstanding discovery that needs to be used on livestock, to prevent diseases. However, how will countries react to gene-edited livestock when there is already a negative view on GMO crops?
Will

R.S. said...

CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology has been used for the first time to successfully produce live cows with increased resistance to bovine tuberculosis. Scientists were able to successfully develop live cows carrying increased resistance to tuberculosis. By inserting this new gene this is seen as a break through in China because after trying for years the inserting of the gene has finally been successful. Also the gene was inserted without the cow having/ experiencing off target effects. On an agricultural standpoint people will likely realize that inserting this gene in the cow is more beneficial than harmful. However from a non agricultural or someone who is against any type of scientific engineering with animals standpoint this may be seen as harmful or not right. So may be excited that this finally worked and was. A success whereas others may be fearful for the well being of the cow. Those who are excited are probably the people who realize the benefits to inserting this gene into the cow and for the possible dangers that could have occurred had it not been inserted. And on the other side people may find this to be a harmful factor for not only the cow but their well being if they are consuming anything from genetically edited cattle. -R.S. Somonauk

katiek said...

Creating tuberculosis resistant cows is a huge breakthrough for scientists. This is a huge breakthrough and could lead to many more things. This accomplishment will not only help save many cows from tuberculosis but hopefully other animals from other deadly diseases. If scientists continue to further develop the technology it could become a easy way for farmers to protect their livestock. It is also such a big accomplishment because before when they would try to insert genes off target effects would occur. This means that inserting the genes would case undesired effects. The only effect scientists were looking for was for the cows to be resistant to tuberculosis. Before the breakthrough inserting the gene was effecting other parts of the cow. There is defiantly however a huge split in the acceptance of this new technology. Regions in modern and developed countries are more accepting of this new practice. They are already using technology well farming. Places where it may not be as accepted is in underdeveloped countries. In these regions they use very traditional farming traditions. Farming is their way of life and they are less accepting of change. Their farming practices can be almost sacred and religious. Tampering with a cows gene is something many of them will likely be against even is it could help the cow.
kk: somonauk

pencesam said...

Tuberculosis was a major problem in the cow population. Yet, scientists made a major breakthrough of a GMO treatment to decrease, or better the disease. This GMO had no harm on the cows and took away the sickness. This mean we are slowly learning to genetically modify animals to avoid sickness. While being a major impact in the animal world, I worry that the more we test these animals, the possibility of harming the animals increases. I do think that this GMO that shows no effect of harm to the cows is a great creation. Yet, the more and more we test the issue may increase. Or end up with a large number of casualties. -S.P Somonauk

AC said...

Scientists in China feel this is such a breakthrough because with the new gene editing abilities, they can insert a new gene with no detected off target effects on the animals genetics. This is a solution to a common problem they have had when it came to creating transgenic animals using CRISPR. The scientists have used a new gene-editing technology called NRAMP1 to make this happen. Before they discovered this new technology, they found previous technologies created off target genetic effects. This means that the gene they inserted to the cow was not the correct gene they were trying to create. This caused many issues for the scientists and the cows. NRAMP1 has dramatically reduced the number of casualties caused by gene-editing software. Though I strongly disagree with the way they are testing the new software, they are attempting to create a safer way to give the animals the correct genes they need to be beneficial to farmers and consumers. A.C. Somonauk

unknown said...

A huge breakthrough for scientists is creating tuberculosis resistant cows. This breakthrough is a great milestone for the industry and can lead to many more.. This accomplishment will not only help save many cows from tuberculosis and its effects, but hopefully other animals from other deadly diseases. If scientists dive into this breakthrough and develop new technologies so many more animals become resistant. It could become an efficient way for farmers to protect their livestock. This milestone is important because it opens up a door because before when they would try to insert genes off target effects would occur. Meaning that inserting the genes would cause unwelcome effects. The resistant tuberculosis cows were the only change but a great one. The GMO change to the cows did not impact the cows nutritionally, but it just allows them to be resistant. But, there is defiantly however a huge split in the acceptance of this new technology. Regions in modern and developed countries are more accepting of this new practice. It is especially hard because natural and organic foods are defiantly in at the moment. They are already using technology well farming. Places where it may not be as accepted is in underdeveloped countries. In these regions they use very traditional farming traditions. It is time for the industry to dive into this breakthrough and work smarter to make their livestock profitable and not die. Somonauk ST

Cassidy Johnson said...

Bovine tuberculosis is a highly infectious disease for cattle that is caused by the bacteria Mycobacterium bovis. Creating genetically resistant cows is a huge breakthrough for scientists because, we may now be able to breed and produce cows with this gene which will greatly decrease the number of cows in which are affected by this disease. If we had more cows with this gene, we may be able to have cows become completely immune to specific diseases like Bovine Tuberculosis. Also, because we can help cows become resistant to certain diseases scientists can begin to learn how to help other species become resistant and eventually immune to serious diseases. While I think this is truly innovative technology, I feel that genetically modifying living breathing creatures may not go over well with several of the ethics committees and animal rights activists. Not because this is obviously causing harm to the animals but for fear of the unknown. This is such a new technology that no one is for sure how any animal being genetically modified at birth will progress as it ages. A concern may also be not knowing what will happen if a genetically modified animal reproduced with a non genetically modified animal. -C.R.J Somonauk

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