7 Mutant Animals Created by (Mad) Science: Amazing or Disturbing?

5. Dolly the Sheep

Credit: National Museum of Scotland.

The world's first mammal cloned from an adult cell was created in 1996 and died in 2003, living about half as long as a typical sheep. She developed a lung disease common in older sheep.

Dolly the Sheep was cloned at the Roslin Institute in Midlothian, Scotland, and never left. Today, Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, the scientist who cloned Dolly from a mammary cell (Parton the pun), is working on using human skin cells to treat diseases like Parkinson's, the Times Online reports.

6. Fast-Growing Salmon

Credit: LA Times. AquaBounty, a Waltham, Massachusetts, company is developing AquAdvantage Salmon— designed to grow twice as fast as traditional salmon.

The company says the advanced-hybrid Super Salmon would be good for inland fish farming, and diminish the need for ocean pens. And the fish are sterile (fingers crossed), so there's no need to worry about them escaping to the wild. Just as a reminder, Asian carp got into Illinois rivers after fish farms flooded.

The salmon pictured above grew big on its own.

7. Genpets

Credit: Genpets.com.

Surely, this is not an exhaustive list of genetically engineered animals. Others that might be included are Allergy-Free Cats, and Super Pigs that are healthier to eat and grow human organs.

The Genpet packaged above is, thankfully, a hoax. But, for how long?

Genpets are advertised online, at a faux web site, that promises allergen-free, child-safe, low-maintenance genetic pets. They look like human-animal hybrids.

"While the Genpets hang on the store shelves they are in a form of hibernation. Each Genpet package has a special nutrient feeding tube attached to it, supplying our specially formulated mix and keeping them healthy and asleep," according to a Genpets features section.

Genpets are created using a process called "Zygote Micro Injection," the same technique behind some of the creatures described above.

Snopes, an urban myth debunking web site, says Genpets are actually the creation of a Canadian commercial artist who wanted to raise awareness about bioengineering and what the future may hold.

More Mad Science from TreeHugger
"Directed Mutagenesis" Heralds Next Wave of Genetic Engineering
A Designer Plum That Can Spare You From Cancer?
The New GMO Debate: Genetically Engineered Organic Crops
"Green Design" Or More Mad Scientists Making Transgenic Animals

Tags: Animals | Ethical