The benefitial see-through frog

by skyfogarty1265 on March 25, 2017 - 11:06pm

The overall purpose of breeding to create a see-through frog was done in order to benefit students, and the organisms themselves. Often, frogs are used for visual labs in schools, colleges, etc. Therefore scientists wanted to create a frog that could be used as a model without being dissected in order to observe its organs, blood vessels, and structure. By breeding two recessive colored frogs by artificial insemination, F2 generation offsprings of the Rapa Japonica frog, created an entirely translucent variation of the species.

     Figure 1: The translucent Rapa Japonica frog offspring

From crossing two color mutant (gray-eyed and black-eyed) frogs with recessive genes through artificial insemination, all of the offspring appeared normal due to the presence of dominant genes[3]. Through this selective breeding the first transparent organism was created including visible lungs, ovaries, liver, heart, intestines, stomach, oviduct, and fat bodies for research without the use of dissection. Varied life cycles of the frog can now be observed in addition such as ovulation and metamorphosis of the organism throughout its life. Differing from its orginal colored phenotype, is the aligned layers of skin the frog possesses. The frog has three kinds of dermal chromatopheres- xanthophores, iridophors, and melanophores[1]. These chromatopheres appear less in the skin of the see-through frogs as it does in its colored ancestors.

    Figure 2: The evolution of the translucent skin

I chose this article from Nature.com because I enjoy looking into and learning more about animals and I also found this study interesting because not only does it benefit us when trying to learn, but it helps the frogs as well because they do not need to be dissected for the use of science. Although the genotype of the frogs is being altered, they are not negtively affected by this alteration in traits. I support this study because while being a science major, I do not enjoy dissecting animals and so on to observe them. This type of belief may be relevant to many other people because peoples outlook and beliefs on science practices such as dissection differ on whether its ethically right or wrong to do so. Now, we could be able to observe a live specimen which I find more appealing. This article is relevant to helping us discover ways in which pairing of different genes and alterations could create and benefit organisms and their outcomes.

Comments

Do you think it could violate the moral laws if we apply the research on humans? it could be easier to observe some internal mutation/disease.

Moving forward in scientific research all while protecting living species and creating new variations of species? That sounds exhilarating! For many years, animals have been treated less like living species and more like experimental laboratory material. The creation of the "transparent frog" through recessive alleles allows us to learn and discover more about the species all while protecting their life and avoiding ethical issues, relating dissection, that some might bring up. This will also make it more interesting for students in lower academic levels to perform experiments and analyze the insides of living creatures as they will now be able to do so and also observe their behavior. Not only helping to increase students' interest in the scientific field, this study can also be applied to fish, which would lead to the protection of a greater number of animals. This genetic discovery is especially interesting to me as we are learning about genetics in school and applying that newfound knowledge really allows me to understand what is being discussed in the post above and I am sure other biology students feel the same way.

It is important, however, to note that dissecting an animal allows for a deeper understanding of its internal organs and elements. Although this study can be useful for school demonstrations, it has its limitations as scientists will still have to look within an animal to learn what is inside of it and move beyond the surface. Perhaps a more effective way to not harm animals and advance scientifically would be to clone the species and dissect the clone. A recent article by Emily Sohn informs readers that it is safe to consume cloned animals and products, such as milk and eggs, provided by them. This article also mentions that scientists have cloned up to 11 animals, consisting of sheep, pigs, mice, cows and horses. Cloning might be a solution to world famine, but also one to avoid ethical issues when certain animals are captured, split open and used for scientific purposes. Cloning allows for the specific selection of genes in order to get the result that you desire. Animal clones are exact genetic copies of each other. This can be useful, as the frogs mentioned in the article will then be able to be reproduced. The animal clones that did survive also tend to die young, which further explains why they could be useful for scientific purposes. If you wish to know more about the cloning process, I invite you to read the full article at:
https://www.sciencenewsforstudents.org/article/animal-clones-double-trouble

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