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:

 

Scientists save child's life by growing him new skin - The Verge

The Verge

Scientists save child's life by growing him new skin
The Verge
Doctors created enough skin to cover 80 percent of the body of a seven-year-old boy with a genetic disease EUR” and it saved his life. This isn't the first time that doctors have used genetic engineering to grow new skin, but past attempts only grew a .
junctional epidermolysis bullosa - Genetics Home ReferenceGenetics Home Reference - NIH
de luca - Centro di Medicina Rigenerativa "Stefano Ferrari"Centro di Medicina Rigenerativa "Stefano Ferrari"

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LI doctor leads study of Type 1 diabetes' effects on the brain | Newsday - Newsday

Newsday

LI doctor leads study of Type 1 diabetes' effects on the brain | Newsday
Newsday
For nearly a century, scientists have asked how diabetes affects the aging brain. Now a Long Island medical investigator EUR” with the help of a.
Study reveals how a very low calorie diet can reverse type 2 diabetesYale News
Scientists may have found a way to reverse type 2 diabetesAtlanta Journal Constitution

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'Brainbow' illuminates human brain cells in living color - Spectrum

'Brainbow' illuminates human brain cells in living color
Spectrum
In this approach, researchers typically use viruses or genetic engineering to coax an animal's brain cells to produce different combinations of up to four colored proteins. Depending on how much of each color a cell produces, researchers have access to .

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StopAndAsk: how did humans end up barking mad about dogs? - Buzz.ie

Buzz.ie

StopAndAsk: how did humans end up barking mad about dogs?
Buzz.ie
EURœAll the different types of dog are down to genetic engineering in the 1800s. EURœThat's when dogs became fashionable, it became a status symbol to have a pure-bred dog although that is a fallacy, there's no such thing as a pure bred dog. EURœUntil then .

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Expert panel affirms safety of Flagstaff's reclaimed wastewater - Arizona Daily Sun

Arizona Daily Sun

Expert panel affirms safety of Flagstaff's reclaimed wastewater
Arizona Daily Sun
A Virginia Tech research team did find antibiotic-resistant genetic material in both potable and reclaimed wastewater in Flagstaff. Their tests found both types of water contained genes that confer resistance to four antibiotics classified as highly .

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Eugenics 2.0: We're at the Dawn of Choosing Embryos by Health, Height, and More - MIT Technology Review

MIT Technology Review

Eugenics 2.0: We're at the Dawn of Choosing Embryos by Health, Height, and More
MIT Technology Review
Using a combination of computer models and DNA tests, the startup company he's working with, Genomic Prediction, thinks it has a way of predicting which IVF embryos in a laboratory dish would be most likely to develop type 1 diabetes or other complex .

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New Research Targets Cancer's 'Achilles' Heel' - Northwestern University NewsCenter

Northwestern University NewsCenter

New Research Targets Cancer's 'Achilles' Heel'
Northwestern University NewsCenter
EURœIf you think of genetics as hardware, then chromatin is the software,EUR said Backman, the Walter Dill Scott Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering. EURœComplex diseases such as cancer do not depend on the .

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Study on integrative medicine in military health finds extensive offerings, widespread use - EurekAlert (press release)

EurekAlert (press release)

Study on integrative medicine in military health finds extensive offerings, widespread use
EurekAlert (press release)
Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is .

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