These Are the Genetic Modifications We Wish We Could Give Our Dogs

Genetic research out of China has us wondering: how can we improve our dogs?

Oct 19 2015, 7:20pm

Image: Nicholas Deleon

Last week, scientists in China published in the Journal of Molecular Cell Biology the results of their research into the genetic modification of dogs. The scientists, out of the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health, revealed how they were able to successfully create a beagle with double the typical amount of muscle mass by modifying the gene that regulated the production of a muscle-inhibiting protein.

The goal of the research, the scientists said, was to be able to produce dogs with specific diseases, such as Parkinson's and muscular dystrophy, to be then be able to test new drugs that might eventually be useful for human use.

Being Motherboard's resident dog owners, Sarah and I decided to come up with a list of gene modifications we'd like our respective dogs, Bruna and Winston, to have.

Nicholas: For Winston, I'd like:

  • No more smelly breath
  • A faster metabolism (diet dog food is expensive!)

Image: Nicholas Deleon

  • Stronger hips (corgis are notorious for developing hip dysplasia)
  • Is there a bravery gene? Because I'd like for Winston not to howl every time he hears a noise in the apartment

Image: Nicholas Deleon

  • Better heat resistance. Being of Welsh stock, Winston isn't exactly easy to walk in the summer (but he loves the snow!)
Image: Nicholas Deleon

Sarah: For Bruna I'd like: I've somehow come to own the world's largest puppy or smallest bear whom I love dearly, but dislike often. Honestly, I probably wouldn't change a thing about my dog, but if I COULD engineer a Better Bruna, I would make her so she would…

  • Stop eating my shoes, goddamnit
  • Stop eating my apartment's drywall

Image: Sarah Emerson

  • Stop eating my nice couch

Image: Sarah Emerson

  • Stop eating anything that isn't her own food, actually
    • Never need her teeth brushed, because the toothpaste is meant to be edible but my precious blogging fingers aren't
    • Sleep in or take her own damn self out to pee at 5AM
    • Know how to fetch. No, I can't throw the ball when it's still lodged between your enormous teeth
    • Never shed. Dear god, the hair.
  • Image: Sarah Emerson
    • Learn that the mean lady with the weird kids who lives down the hall will never want to be her friend...
    • ...nor will the cat
    • Not sometimes accidentally pee on her own back feet
    • Always love me more than her other parent, Mike
    • Never die!

    Image: Sarah Emerson