Transgenic animals are the genetically modified organisms which have a foreign gene in their genome due to which they show certain properties which are different from non genetically modified organisms. Usually the added gene's function is to increase the productivity of milk or meat in an animal. Scientists developed mouse as a transgenic animal for the first in the history of science. After the successful production of transgenic mice, scientists easily made rabbits, sheep, pigs etc. These animals are of great importance in human life as they provide benefits economically as well as medically to identify certain diseases. they are also important agriculturally.
Transgenic animals have contributed a lot in the field of medicine as they are used to discover some drugs, to see the impacts of some drug or vaccine and so on. Their uses in medicine are unlimited.
Gene therapy of Humans:-
Human gene therapy is the process in which by using the technique of gene therapy in which healthy genes are inserted in the person's body in place of defected genes. Defected genes do not function properly and cause diseases in the body. Plasmids and vectors are used to carry healthy genes. transgenic animals could play vital role in the treatment of almost 5000 genetic disorders. For example the scientists of Finland have developed a calf which carries a gene. This gene is responsible for making a substance which promotes the growth of red blood cells in humans.
There are a lot of people in the world who die every year because of organ failure. Some people have the problems in their kidneys, son have in lungs etc. In UK alone, almost 5000 organs are needed for the patients. scientists have successfully done experiments in pigs and have developed human organs. though there is a protein in pig which cannot be accepted by the human immune system but scientists are working on this problem and are trying to replace this protein with the human protein so that it can easily be accepted by the human immune system.
Scientists have produced insulin, growth hormones and blood clotting factors in the transgenic animals. These are obtained from cow's milk and are very useful for the human health. Blood clotting factor can be beneficial for patients of hemophelia because they lack the ability to clot the blood. Similarly milk is being obtained from goats or sheep through transgenesis to treat the diseases like cystic fibrosis and phenylketonuria.
It is the culture of all farmers to breed animals selectively so that healthy animals can be obtained that have the traits required by the farmers, for example, increased amount of milk and healthy meat. Though traditional breeding is also common but it gives slow results as it is a time consuming method. Molecular biology has made it possible to develop such techniques which give better results in a short time. It is also beneficial for farmers in the sense that farmer can get higher yield in a short time.
Scientists are doing research on making such animals which are disease resistant. Diseases like influenza can cause damage to the animal body that is why genes are inserted in pigs which show resistant against this disease. farm animals are more susceptible to influenza as they live in groups and disease spreads from one animal to the other.
Quality is another factor which farmers want to increase. Transgenic cows are able to produce milk which has more nutritional value than an ordinary cow's milk. Some farmers tried to use growth hormones in animals but they didn't succeed in getting the desired results.
Two scientists of Canada have successfully inserted spider genes into goats which are lactating. now it is possible that along with the milk production, goats will also produce silk which is a light flexible material used to make army uniforms, tennis rackets and medical microsutures. For the safety of chemicals, scientists have produced toxicity sensitive transgenic animals. Many proteins have produced by using transgenic animals which in turn convert into enzymes to perform different functions in the body.
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