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Environment

Outside/In: Could lake trout become the next "Frankenfish?"

aquabounty Technologies.jpg
Courtesy
/
AquaAdvantage Technologies
AquaAdvantage salmon (background) has been genetically modified to grow bigger and faster than a conventional Atlantic salmon of the same age (foreground.

Lake trout are on life support in Lake Michigan. They rely on intense breeding and stocking by federal fisheries. There was a breakthrough last summer, though, that could help bolster the lake trout’s recovery.

A geneticist successfully mapped the lake trout genome: an outline of the fish’s genetic makeup. The genome will help biologists understand why some “strains” of trout have a higher survival rate.

But could it also be used to create a sort of super-trout? And is that a good thing? Or is conservation-based gene editing a step too far?

This episode comes to us from our friends at the podcast Points North, as part of their special series called [Un]Natural Selection.

Featuring: Mark Walton, Roger Gordon, Chuck Madenjian, Seth Smith, Marty Kardos and Kim Scribner.

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