Thursday, 10 December 2015

Bottling: Going to the Dogs


The first reports of applying the in vitro technique to dog reproduction are coming in (http://www.smithsonianmag.com/ist/?next=/science-nature/these-baby-beagles-are-first-dogs-born-vitro-fertilization-180957499/). This has, apparently, proved quite difficult as the ovulated dog eggs have to mature in the oviduct before they are ready for fertilisation and the fluid for maintaining the sperm in a viable state had to be adjusted (it's actually easier in humans). The claimed utilities of the technique are to a) help save endangered wild dog species from extinction (the danger here is that they might have very little genetic diversity) and b) gene edit out some of the inherited diseases that breeders of strains have inadvertently introduced to the lines (it will be interesting to see how much of a priority this is in breeders of show dogs) and c) help dogs who find it difficult to conceive (I'm not sure how much of a real problem this is). I suspect, it will also be used to engineer characteristics of  drug-searching and rescue dogs and also for people wanting perpetual pets?

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Pat Bateson

I have just noted the obituary of Sir Patrick Bateson 1938-2017 ( https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/aug/14/sir-patrick-bateson-ob...