What Is The Future Of Genetic Engineering In Animals?

Genetic engineering in animals is the second stage of the intended advance of this technology, after the stage where plants are genetically modified to try to improve crop yields. There can several reasons why scientists would want to change the genetic profile of animals, from the simple consideration of improving milk yields in cattle to actually attempting to create animals whose organs can be transplanted into humans. There are huge moral arguments raging concerning all of these issues, as well as doubts as to the feasibility of actually putting many of the theories into practice.

The most obvious application of animal genetic engineering is in improving the food yields of farm animals. This can be extended to include other consumable products derived from farms, such as the wool from sheep. As of now, there are no commercial applications of this technology yet in use, as the expense of applying them would outweigh the savings to be made from the extra yields. Nevertheless, it is possible at least in theory to grow larger animals for meat, to extract more milk from cows, and to breed hens which will lay more eggs. These technologies may well be developed as side benefits of other animal genetic experiments.

Far less publicized is the possibility of using specially bred animals to test drugs for use in human beings. The idea is to breed farm animals which are as similar as possible to humans in the way they react to pharmaceutical products, and then to use these animals to try to test drugs before they are given to humans. If this could be done successfully, it would greatly lessen the expense involved in developing drugs which could be of great benefit to the sufferers of many illnesses. There are, of course, many difficult ethical considerations to overcome with this practice.

types of genetic engineering

Even more controversial is the use of genetic engineering in animals to create organs which can be transplanted into human beings. An example of this is the heart of a pig, which in theory could replace a malfunctioning human heart and carry out the same job, if only the human body did not reject it. An ordinary pig heart would always be rejected by a human recipient, but a heart from a pig which has been genetically modified may well not be. This technique will not be limited to heart transplants, it could be used for any organ which will function as the original organ functioned.

Whether any of these potential technologies ever come to fruition remains to be seen, but there is a high chance that they will. The testing of drugs on animals is something which the cash rich pharmaceutical industry will desperately want to do, as it will increase their profits which allowing them to get the drugs into the hands of more people. Farming technologies are less clear cut, as there are other drug based methods of improving yields which are far cheaper to implement. Only the future will tell which of the viable technologies are also financially viable.

genetic engineering

The moral and philosophical considerations with genetic engineering in animals are obviously extreme, and people on both sides of the fence are vehement in arguing their cause, and entirely convinced that they are right. It is also impossible to predict with accuracy what will happen with the laws concerning these experiments, but so far governments throughout the Western world have licensed genetically modified food, and some don't even require it to be labeled. History suggests that financial interests are likely to come out on top whenever there is a debate, and this will probably happen with genetic engineering in animals.

 

 

 

Genetic Engineering News:

 

Background on biotechnology Bill - New Vision

New Vision

Background on biotechnology Bill
New Vision
Building on these sexual reproduction approaches to develop new crop types, the study of genetics later showed us that when you crossed plants of the same species from two lines of a crop that have distinct and stable attributes, their off-springs were .

..


A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body - MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review

A Potent Tool to Treat Pancreatic Cancer May Already Be in Your Body
MIT Technology Review
Valerie LeBleu, assistant professor of cancer biology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, is working on genetically engineering exosomes to carry molecules that seek out pancreatic tumor cells to keep the cancer at bay. Her team .

..


Gene therapy to kill cancer moves a step closer to market - CNET - CNET

CNET

Gene therapy to kill cancer moves a step closer to market - CNET
CNET
An advisory panel says it's time patients had access to gene-altering treatments. If approved, the first to make it to market would take on a stubborn form of .

and more »
..


Human Neural Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Ischemic Stroke | GEN - Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Human Neural Stem Cell Therapy for Chronic Ischemic Stroke | GEN
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Chronic disability after stroke represents a major unmet neurologic need. ReNeuron's development of a human neural stem cell (hNSC) therapy for chronic .

and more »
..

The race to revive woolly mammoths using ancient DNA - CBS News

CBS News

The race to revive woolly mammoths using ancient DNA
CBS News
And why they don't get cancer is in their genes. If we can figure that out, we can use this genetic engineering to solve cancer," he said. The author also addressed the ethical concerns related to these types of genetic engineering practices. "The idea .
Woolly Mammoths Coming Back To LifeChronicle Day
Peter Thiel Is Funding the Effort to Bring Woolly Mammoths Back to LifeMIT Technology Review

all 25 news articles »
..


Genetically enhanced, cord-blood derived immune cells strike B-cell . - Science Daily

Genetically enhanced, cord-blood derived immune cells strike B-cell .
Science Daily
Immune cells with a general knack for recognizing and killing many types of infected or abnormal cells also can be engineered to hunt down cells with specific .

and more »
..


Biotechnology timeline: Humans have manipulated genes since the 'dawn of civilization' - Genetic Literacy Project

Genetic Literacy Project

Biotechnology timeline: Humans have manipulated genes since the 'dawn of civilization'
Genetic Literacy Project
The origins of biotechnology culminate with the birth of genetic engineering. There were two key events that have come to be seen as scientific breakthroughs beginning the era that would unite genetics with biotechnology: One was the 1953 discovery of .

..


FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment - New York Times

New York Times

FDA Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment
New York Times
The treatment requires removing millions of a patient's T-cells EUR” a type of white blood cell often called soldiers of the immune system EUR” and genetically engineering them to kill cancer cells. The technique employs a disabled form of H.I.V., the .
BLA 125646 Tisagenlecleucel 1 FDA Briefing Document Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee Meeting BLA 125646 .FDA
Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment (PDQ)EUR”Patient Version - National Cancer InstituteNational Cancer Institute
FDA Panel OKs What May Soon Be First Gene Therapy Approved in USHealthDay

all 245 news articles »
..


 

share