How Transgenic animals production benefits human beings?
These are those animals whose DNA is manipulated to possess and express an extra (foreign) gene.
You might have seen the movie The Hulk in which the hero possess different characteristics of different organisms. His body can regenerate like lizard. (lizard tail can regenerate itself)
Transgenic animals examples
Some of the example of the animals whose DNA is manipulated are rats, pigs, sheep, cows and fish. But it is interesting to know that more than 95% of transgenic animals are mice.
Why are transgenic animals are produced?
Transgenic animals can be specifically designed to allow the study of how genes are regulated, and how they affect the normal functions of the body and its development, e.g., study of complex factors involved in growth such as insulin-like growth factor.
By introducing genes from other species that alter the formation of this factor and studying the biological effects that result, information is obtained about the biological role of the factor in the body.
Many transgenic animals are made or designed to study, how a particular gene is contributing in the development of a disease.These animals help in understanding the effect of a disease on humans and hence helps in developing a treatment for the same. In today’s world transgenic models exist for many human diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis, rheumatoid arthritis and Alzheimer’s. Hence, it can be rightly said that transgenic animals are being used for studying diseases.
There are certain medicines which contain biological products which are really expensive. These medicines can be relatively made more cheaper with the help of transgenic animals. Transgenic animals that produce useful biological products can be created by the introduction of the portion of DNA (or genes) which codes for a particular product such as human protein (α-1-antitrypsin) used to treat emphysema. In 1997, the first transgenic cow, Rosie, produced human protein-enriched milk (2.4 grams per litre). The milk contained the human alpha-lactalbumin and was nutritionally a more balanced product for human babies than natural cow-milk.
Transgenic animals specially Transgenic mice are being used for testing the safety of vaccines before they are used on humans. Transgenic mice are being used to test the safety of the polio vaccine. If successful and found to be reliable, they could replace the use of monkeys to test the safety of batches of the vaccine.
Ethical Issues related to transgenic animals
We as a human race should be concerned about the safety of all other living organisms on this planet. It becomes really important to decide that how far we are willing to go putting the safety of all other organisms. As, the introduction of these modified organisms into our ecosystem may have a serious consequence. So, its important that such activities needs to be regulated..
What is a transgene?
The DNA of one organism is added to the genome of another. This added gene is called transgene.
What is the difference between genetically modified and transgenic?
Transgenic is a specific example of genetically modified. They are produced when the genome of one is altered by adding genetic material from another.