Remember Dolly ‘the sheep’, the first animal to be cloned successfully? It was cloned by Campbell, Wilmut, and colleagues at the Roslin Institute in Scotland, together with the biotechnology company PPL Therapeutics based out of Edinburgh.
Her cloning was a landmark event in the history of animal biotechnology because, before that, no animal had been successfully cloned. Born in 1996, she died of a lung disease in the year 2003.
Named “the world’s most famous sheep” by news outlets like BBC News and Scientific American, Dolly was cloned by using a cell taken from a mammary gland which proved that a cell extracted from one body part could re-conceive the entire individual.
It is only after Dolly’s cloning that other animals like deer, pigs and horses were recreated.
Her cloning has been so successful that in the year 2016, four identical clones of Dolly, namely Daisy, Debbie, Dianna and Denise were very much alive and healthy at nine years of age, that is, way more than Dolly.
It is only through the advancements in biotechnology that we have been able to reach such a stage. Otherwise, imagining something like cloning was only a thing dreamers could think of.
Here are some of the most notable research findings:
Cancer Spit Tests
In the cancer spit test, a disease like cancer can be detected and that too with a single drop of saliva. Yes! You read that right; forget biopsies – a SINGLE DROP of SALIVA.
A device designed by researchers in Loss Angeles can help detect cancer so quickly.
Well, the proteins that are associated with cancer cells react with the dyes on the sensor and emit fluorescent lights detected with the help of a microscope.
It is also said that this test can be used further for the detection of more diseases.
Peptide biomarkers used for the selective breeding of a complex polygenic trait in honey bees
Honey Bees are important species in the field of agriculture as a number of crops depend on them for increased yield and pollination. However, over the past decade, honey bees have been dying at a fast pace mainly due to excessive use of pesticides and habitat loss.
For quite some time now, we have been using observable phenotypes to breed stronger or more productive livestock and crops. In livestock breeding programs, the selection of genotype, genome profiling and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has proved successful.
However, the use of peptide biomarkers had no such proof to their kitty. In this research, the use of protein markers for selection of disease resistant, hygienic behaviour in honey bees was demonstrated.
After doing so for three generations, the result seemed to be quite positive. In fact, it outperformed others regarding hygiene and survival traits. This is the first step towards the efficiency of protein markers for selective industrial breeding in agricultural species.
More examples of discoveries in animal biotechnology include the production of the identical somatic cell, nuclear transfer, generation of transgenic animals or fish and production of infertile aquatic species.
Animal Biotechnology is of great importance to the human circle as devices that are made for the benefit in human beings are first tested on animals. This importance also throws light towards the promising careers in animal biotechnology.