[Ed. Note: And yet one more way humans have devised to manipulate the bodies of living beings to satisfy their "tastes" and "desires." Being vegan means you do not contribute to these kinds of atrocities.]
By Jasmine Greene on Care2.com
The increase in the popularity of fish as well as the every growing human population has led to the creation of a ripped fish. Professor Terry Bradley of the University of Rhode Island, has found a way to create trouts that produce 20% more muscle than the average trout.
For over ten years, Professor Bradley has been trying to address a way to create more food while spending the same amount on feed and equipment. While Bradley's super fish are a new development, the concept of creating animals that produce more muscle is not. Since the 1950s, the desire for meatier animals led to the popularization of genetically engineered cattle, namely the Belgian Blue. This cattle contain a natural mutation that inhibits the myostatin gene. This gene is what controls muscle growth. When this muscle is truncated, the lean muscles grow at an accelerated rate, leading to double-muscling [Source: Wikipedia]. Bradley takes the same concept and applies it towards fish.
When Bradley first began the experiments, he was unsure of the results, since fish have different muscle development than animals. However after 500 hours of injecting rainbow trout eggs with different types of DNA that inhibit myostatin, 300 of the 20,000 eggs developed the "six-pack" effect [Source: Science Daily]. Those fish that carried this trait were then bred with all of the offspring expressing the desired trait. This could be a huge boon to the fish farms as they could farm the same amount of fish but make more money while spending the same amount. Not only that, but this could help decrease the amount of bottom-trawling occurring in our oceans and over-fishing in our lakes and streams. The study of how these genes affect fish and mammals could also shed light on muscle wasting diseases in humans [Source: URI].
A major issue still facing Bradley is whether these transgenic fish meet regulatory standards. But besides that, there are many variables to consider before allowing these bodybuilder fish for public consumption:
- Will there be any side effects for those eating the fish?
- If they somehow made it to the wild, how will they affect the natural ecosystem?
- Will more lean muscle decrease the amount of good fat in fish (i.e. omega-3 fatty acid)?
There are still many unanswered questions, and while the proposition seems attractive, especially to those who own fisheries, there is still not enough information to begin mass production. Still, this news could help to decrease the overfishing problem all over the world.