CRISPR has allowed mice to have their genomes modified so that their females give birth to either “male” or “female” only. This is the first achievement in this field that has been proven 100 percent effective.
And the journal Nature Communications, notes that this method is useful in the agricultural sector, where farmers often get rid of the sex they consider “unnecessary” immediately after birth, because, for example, eggs and milk can only be obtained from females. This achievement will also benefit in the field of scientific research, where scientific experiments are usually conducted on a specific gender. According to BBC data, hundreds of thousands of laboratory mice and billions of roosters are killed annually for this reason.
Experts from the Francis Crick Institute and the University of Kent in the United Kingdom have discovered a way to avoid animal suffering, which lies in suppressing the activity of a gene that plays an important role in the development of the fetus. This method can be programmed, so that at the stage of 16-32 cells only the embryo develops according to the required sex. To control the gender of future offspring, scientists inserted half of the molecule, which is responsible for modifying the genome of future mice, into the DNA of the “mother”, and the second into one of the chromosomes of the “father”. That is, half of the modification molecule is inherited by all embryos, and the other half – only embryos of a certain sex.
If the second half of the molecule is inserted into the X chromosome of the “father”, only future females will be “excluded”: that is, the entire offspring will consist of males. If the Y chromosome is changed to ‘father’, the offspring will be female only.
The researchers were able to use this method to control the sex of newborns in 100 percent of cases. The interesting thing is that the number of births did not decrease by 50 percent, but the number of mice born in this way ranged between 61 and 72 percent.
The researchers hypothesize that this is related to the fact that some animals, including mice, produce more eggs than required per ovarian cycle. This happens as a result of development and helps animals not to lose part of their offspring when a problem occurs at an early stage of embryo development.
The researchers plan to use this method on livestock, and the issue of conducting these tests at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh, which is a pioneer in the field of livestock gene editing, is currently contradicted.
It is reported that the British government is studying the possibility of using genetic modification to meet the needs of livestock in England.
Source: Vesti. Ro