Cat genetics

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Photo of specialized markings on a cat with genetic editing. Photo Source: https://tinyurl.com/relmobn

Cats come in many different colors and sizes. There are black cats and brown cats, big cats and small cats. There are cats like Hamilton (below), or Venus the two-faced cat. What makes a cat look like a cat? The answer lies in genetics.

Cat with mustache
https://tinyurl.com/wqt4p5l

 

The DNA of the cat tells you what the cat will look like, before it is even born. This is important because soon, this DNA can be edited by humans with a new technology called CRISPR. CRISPR can change the genes of animals or plants. One day, people could order cats in certain colors, as if they were buying customized products.This technology can be a scary thought, but soon, it may become reality. The ethical side of it, though, is a little more complicated. Should humans alter the course of nature for their own wants or needs?

 

This relates to engineering because of the customization of the cats. Someone could make a cat a certain color or shape. This includes the design part of engineering, even if it is a little otherworldly.