China have begun to breed 'super dogs' with twice the muscle of a normal dog. -AP
Armies of super-soldiers were a step closer to reality today after China announced it was genetically engineering hyper-muscular super-dogs, reports Express.co.uk. The dogs, which are test tube bred in a lab, have twice the muscle mass of their natural counterparts and are considerably stronger and faster.
The canine genome has been especially difficult to engineer and replicate but its close similarity to the human genome means it has long been the prize of geneticists.
Now the Chinese success has led to fears the same technology could be used to create weaponized super-humans typified in Marvel Comics by Captain America and his foes. David King, director of Human Genetics Alert (HGA), voiced his fears over what is widely viewed as the first step on a slippery slope.
He told express.co.uk: "It's true that the more and more animals that are genetically engineered using these techniques brings us closer to the possibility of genetic engineering of humans.
"Dogs as a species, in respect of cloning are very difficult, and even more difficult to clone human beings. "There's no medical case for it, the scientists are interested in being the first person in the world to create a genetically engineer child.
"They're interested in science and the technology and their careers. They will continue pushing the regulations for it. "That does set us on the road to eugenics. I am very concerned with what I'm seeing." An army of super-humans has been a staple of science fiction and superhero comics for decades but the super-dog technology brings it closer to reality.
The Chinese researcher's first self-bred cloned dog was named Little Long Long. The beagle puppy, one of 27, was genetically engineered by 'deleting' a gene called myostatin, giving it double the muscle mass of a normal beagle. The advance genetic editing technology has been touted as a breakthrough which could herald the dawn of 'superbreeds', which could be stronger, faster, better at running and hunting.
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