Genetically Modified Animals

Genetically engineered animals are a powerful method of introducing wanted traits into animals by recombinant DNA technology by adding, changing or removing certain DNA sequences to change the characteristics of the animal. The process of genetically engineering animals is a slow and tiring process that requires a large amount of funding. Thanks to advanced technologies being introduced, genetically modifying animals is becoming simpler and more precise. This is not only transforming science, but could also transform the food we eat.

The first transgenic (genetically modified animal), was made by injecting DNA into eggs then, implanting the eggs in animals and then waiting months to obeserve if any offspring had incorporated the extra DNA. At first only about 10% performed correctly, in the end causing this a long and costly.

Genetically modified animals currently being developed can be placed into six different broad groups based on the purpose of the genetic modification: (1) to increase production or food quality traits (e.g faster growing fish, pigs that expel less toxins); (2) to improve animal health (disease resistance); (3) to produce products for human theraputic use (e.g pharmacutical products or tissue implantations); (4) to enrich or increase the animals’ interactions with humans (e.g hypo-allergenic pets); (5) to develop animal models for human diseases (e.g pigs used as models for cardiovascular disease); (6) and to make industrial or consumer products (e.g fibres for multiple uses).

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