Imagine a perfect world with no sicknesses or diseases? With no bad or violent attitudes? A world where you could design your kids however you wanted? A world where food would always taste good? All this became a possibility when Genetic Engineering was invented. By altering the humans, plants, or animals genes this world could become a reality. Except it would be no fun, and mostly not ethical or moral. You would be playing God. But there are a few things Genetic Engineering would improve, for example health. Using genetic engineering in animals could make health advances. In order to understand this you have to know what Genetic Engineering is, how it is applied to animals, what uses or advantages does this have, and how it should be used but in a careful and regulated manner.
-Internal Preview: We will start with the basics, what genetic engineering is.
I. In the genetic engineering of animals lots of factors are involved.
A. First of all you have to know what DNA is.
1. All living organisms are made up of tiny cells.
2. Cells contain a nucleus, which contains DNA.
3. DNA is what contains the genes.
B. Genes are what determine everything in a living organism.
1. From hair color to diseases.
2. When cells reproduce the DNA strands have to be copied exactly.
C. Cells reproduce by splitting.
1.One cells splits into two cells.
2. When a cell is splitting it makes an exact copy of the DNA in the nucleus so that the new cells will have exactly the same information and nothing in the body will be altered or changed.
3. Sometimes a mistake takes place in cell reproduction and the DNA is not copied exactly.
D. These mistakes are called mutations.
1.Some mutations can be fatal for a living organism.
2. Others might improve it.
E. Genetic Engineering is basically mutations caused by scientists.
1. They can do this by inserting a foreign DNA strand into another DNA code.
2.Animals that are genetic engineered are called Transgenic Animals.
-Transition: Now that we know what transgenic animals are we should examine the uses of them.
II. Transgenic animals have various uses.
A. One of the uses is to improve the study of physiology and development of the human body.
1. For example the factors involve in growth.
2. This has a reverse effect because many companies want to research this in order to find substances or genes that will make animals grow faster and bigger.
3. They will be able to produce bigger animals in less time and can sell at a higher price.
B. Many transgenic animals are used for:
1.Understand how genes and DNA affect or contribute to the development of a disease.
2.They are also used to mimic or copy human diseases, which makes studying the disease relatively easy for scientists.
3.One of the most important use is for research in order to find cures to human diseases.
4.Though sometimes this use presents problems because an animal might not exactly replicate the disease, it might have a different behavior than on humans.
C. The next use is really good and provides a lot of benefits for us humans.
1.It is the ability to produce proteins or substances in their bodies, cells, or blood that can help treat certain diseases in humans.
2.Some examples are:
a.At the Institute for Animal Physiology and Genetic Research in Scotland they were able to produce a human blood-clotting agent in sheep's milk, which is useful for hemophilia.
b.Also pigs that produce human insulin that is used in the treatment of diabetes.
c.Sheep that can generate a human growth hormone in order to help kids with problems grow.
d.Another type of sheep produce AAT that is protein that in needed for the treatment of the lung condition called emphysema.
e.Another substance produced is t-PA, which dissolves blood clots in order to prevent heart attacks, this substance can be produced in a lab but using transgenic animals lowers the cost a lot.
f.BST can be injected into cows in order for them to produce from 10 to 25 percent more milk.
D. Transgenic Animals are also used for testing vaccines and chemicals in the environment for safety.
1.The animals are genetically engineered to be more sensible therefore they will be able to determine whether the vaccines or chemicals will cause something in humans
2.This is an advantage because less animals have to be used and results have to be obtained more quickly.
E. Another use is still in progress but promises wonderful developments.
1.This use is organ donating, scientist intend to be able to donate animal organs to human patients.
2.There are still a few problems because since the organ is going to be raised in the animals body even though it will have human genes there is a possibility that animal diseases can be transmitted to the human patient.
F. The last main use is for agriculture.
1.The transgenic farm animals include cows that produce more milk, sheep that produce more wool and fish, which can grow bigger or can survive in colder temperatures.
2.Although there is also a risk that these animals will suffer unnecessary consequences such as diseases.
- Transition: So as you see there are good and bad consequences of using transgenic animals, lets analyze this.
III. It is important to make clear that not all uses of transgenic animals are ethically sound.
A. There is a huge controversy as to animals being genetically engineered.
1.On one end the pros say it is improving nature, but the opposition refers to genetic engineering as playing God.
2.The important concept to understand is that not all genetic engineering is good, but there are some uses which would improve many aspects in human health.
B. The main disadvantages of transgenic animals include
2.Animals who do not behave as they were expected with the inserted gene are sometimes killed because they have no purpose.
3.Some animals may suffer secondary effects like pain and distress.
C. But there are also advantages
1.Cures for fatal diseases like AIDS and Cancer can be researched and maybe even found.
2.If scientists can develop a way to engineer animal organs so they could be turned into usable organs for human patients, thousands of lives would be saved.
- Internal Summary: We have now talked about what transgenic animals are, what are they used for, and the controversy transgenic animals arise.
To conclude it is important to say transgenic animals can be a revolution in the study of diseases and their cures as long as their use and experimentation is carefully regulated. Only the most promising work and experimentation should be allowed. This way the benefits would including saving thousands of human lives at the expense of some animal lives. But as the scientists improve the need to use animals in a bad way will decrease and everything will be better. In the end, transgenic animals are a wonderful advance and if people support it we will help in the quest for improving human health.