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Transgenic animals: how they are created and what's their purpose
The transgenesis of animals began in 1980. Animal transgenesis applications that are directly or indirectly related to health of human beings can be majorly divided into three categories: improving the products of animals for consumption by humans, to obtain value products such as xeno organs and recombinant proteins, to acquire information regarding gene regulation and function as well as on diseases of humans. Transgenic technology holds enormous potential in the field of medicine, agriculture and industrial applications.

Transgenesis will facilitate bigger herds with specific traits – To produce animals with desired traits farmers have always utilized selective breeding (for example, high growth rate, elevated milk production). The method of traditional breeding may be time consuming and difficult. By genetic engineering techniques it is possible to generate animals with desired traits in a short time span and also with greater precision.

Researchers can improve the quality of livestock genetically – Transgenic cattle that produce more milk or milk with lower cholesterol or lactose levels exist. Similarly sheep with more wool and pigs with more meet are also produced by transgenesis.

Disease-resistant livestock – Researchers are investigating on producing animals that are disease resistant such as pigs that are influenza resistant and currently this knowledge is very limited with regard to farm animals.

Xenotransplantation - Transplant organs may be shortly available from transgenic animals (transgenic pigs may provide transplant organs and is currently under investigation).

Milk-producing transgenic animals are especially useful for nutritional supplements - In the year 1997, Rosie, the first transgenic cow produced human protein-enriched milk (due to human gene alpha-lactcalumin) at 2.4 g/ litre. This transgenic milk has a nutritional value compared to natural cow milk and could be offered to babies or old ones with special digestive or nutritional needs.

Utilization of transgenic animals in industry include material fabrication and safety tests of chemicals - In the year 2001, two researchers at Canada (Nexia Biotechnologies) spliced genes of spider into the cells of lactating goats to produce spider silk. Transgenic animals with toxic sensitivity have been raised for safety testing of chemicals.
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RE: Transgenic animals: how they are created and what's their purpose - by adimed - 10-07-2013, 06:48 AM
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