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Genetics modification and domestications animals - Essay Example

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(Name) (Professor) (Subject) (Date) The Dangers of Domestication Russian geneticist Dmitry K. Beldyaev’s experiment on the domestication of foxes began in 1959 in order to determine how the genetic make-up of furry animals changes as they are domesticated generation after generation…
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Genetics modification and domestications animals

Download file to see previous pages... This experiment was later on repeated by Trut and his team and they found out that the hypothesis was true. However, these efforts at domestication were not without disadvantages. The changes that both Belyaev’s and the Farm Fox Experiment have brought about are very disadvantageous to the original wild fox species as well as to the tamed generations of foxes. One advantage of taming the fox species is that the physiological changes that generations of fox species undergo while being domesticated might lead to the extinction of the originally wild species of foxes. Domestication of the wild fox species does not only make the animal tamed but also causes various physiological changes in it like changes in body size, proportion, pigmentation, tail and ears (31). Although these may just seem to be minor changes as of this moment in history, such changes might prove to be less resistant to diseases and environmental conditions. Moreover, such efforts at domestication might eventually cause permanent changes in the fox species until such a point where all the original wild foxes were wiped out. This is not the same as evolution because there is human manipulation of the species. There must be a reason why some animals are wild and defying nature might result in the extinction of the original species. ...
Moreover, new diseases might be brought along with the domesticated species as disease genes made dormant by a wild nature may eventually show up when the animal is tamed. Thus, the new domesticated species, although numerous, may not be able to survive very long. The idea that domestication brings along with it the fact that the fear response develops much later, which is 9 weeks or later instead of 6 weeks for the wild species, implies that there is a relatively longer time for the fox offspring to remain vulnerable to danger due to the absence of fear (33). The earlier fear develops in the fox species and in any other animal species, the earlier it may be able to learn to protect itself from danger. Thus, domesticated foxes tend to be more trusting of people and other animals that might cause them great harm or even death. Although the purpose of domestication is to delay the development of fear or even to get rid of it completely, fear has a great role in the survival of the animal species. One final disadvantage of domestication of foxes is, as stated by Trut herself, “Anything that tampers with [polygenes] runs the risk of upsetting other parts of an organism’s genetic machinery” (35). As previously stated, the domestication experiment on foxes is not the same as natural evolution because there is deliberate human intervention in the manipulation of the polygenes. Any such manipulation may result in the alteration of what nature has intelligently created. The reverberations of such manipulation might result in destructive physiological changes in the fox species like immunity problems and thus eventually cause its extinction. The ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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