The first genetically-modified animal for human consumption could be arriving in grocery stores across the United States as early as next year.

Massachusetts-based AquaBounty Technologies has developed a biotech salmon that it plans to grow near no major body of water, in a production facility in the small town of Albany, Indiana. The company producing the breed of high-tech fish hopes to change the aquaculture industry.

As unlikely as the location is, the fish is just as unusual.

The Science Behind the Fish

AquaBounty will produce a GMO salmon that CEO Ron Stotish says will grow faster than freshwater-raised fish. “It does so because we’ve given it the ability, using the same biological process that regulates growth in the unmodified salmon, to grow about twice as fast reaching market rate about half the time,” Stotish says. The technology has been around since the 1990s, but it took until 2015 to receive approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, due to concerns about people eating genetically-modified animals.

The genetic makeup of the biotech fish takes a growth-hormone regulatory gene from the Pacific Chinook salmon with a promoter gene from an ocean pout and puts it into the genome of an Atlantic salmon. The result causes for the growth hormone to remain on leading to faster growth rate than non GMO salmon. The modified fish is able to grow to market size using 25 percent less feed than the traditional salmon, increasing cost efficiency.  Read the article.

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