Genetic Engineering and Its Use on Animals

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Before you eat a meal or something, have you ever been worried or wondered about the things we eat. Have you ever thought about where it comes from or how it’s made. For many generations, scientists have been trying to discover new biotechnologies and one of them is Genetic engineering. Scientists take the desired genes from various organisms and make it one by adding it to an embryo of the desired organism from one to another, this process is called genetic engineering or GMO. Another amazing discovery is cloning and selective breeding. Cloning is a faster process than selective breeding. Selective breeding is the process by which humans control the breeding of organisms in order to exhibit or eliminate a particular characteristic or it can be defined as selecting two parents that have beneficial phenotypic traits to reproduce, yielding offspring with those desired traits by the breeders but it takes generations. On the other hand, cloning has a number of different processes that can be used to produce genetically identical copies of a biological entity. The copied material which is the same genetic makeup as the original is referred to as a clone. Cloning is detrimental because of the uncertainty of science and technology, the loss of genetic diversity and the possibility of extinction of particular species.

Selective breeding is using artificial selection to direct the genetic desired properties. As opposed to natural selection, selective breeding focuses on traits which will benefit humans. The procedure involves identifying certain desirable features and finding two members of a species that exhibit the particular feature. A series of matings or breedings is then performed between the individuals with favored features to produce offspring that exhibit the feature and that can be used for future matings. The desirable phenotypic traits are passed from parents to offspring via their genes. Although selective breeding can increase the prevalence of desirable traits by increasing the frequency of favorable genes within the gene pool, undesirable traits, which can cause hereditary health problems, can also increase as a consequence of inbreeding.

The process of genetic engineering are, first a small piece of circular DNA called a plasmid is extracted from the bacteria or yeast cell. Plasmid is a genetic structure in the cell that can replicate independently of the chromosomes, some says that's it is a small circular DNA strand in the cytoplasm of a bacterium or protozoan. Then a small section is then cut out of the circular plasmid by restriction enzymes, ‘molecular scissors’. This plasmid is now genetically modified. It’s introduced into a new bacteria cell or yeast cell. This cell then divides asexually rapidly and starts making insulin. To create large amounts of the cells while the genetically modified bacteria or sometimes the yeast are grown in large fermentation vessels that contain all the nutrients they need. The more the cells divide then the more insulin is going to produced. When fermentation is complete, the mixture is filtered to release insulin. The insulin is then purified and packaged into bottles and insulin pens for distribution to patients with diabetes. The procedures of cloning usually involves removing genetic information, known as DNA, from a cell taken from one animal and placing this into an unfertilised egg that has had its own DNA removed. This egg is then artificially stimulated to start developing into an embryo and placed into a surrogate mother. The first cloned mammal successfully produced using a cell taken from another animal was 'Dolly the sheep' which was born in 1996.

In the video that we saw they used these technologies for food thought. The journey started at a cow shed to meet the belgium blue, selectively bred organisms by farmers. Belgian Blue cattle are a heavy built breed and produce large amounts of meat and muscles. Their craved and muscled appearance known as the double muscled is caused by a special gene that helps the production of Myostatin which is a protein that inhibits muscle tissue growth after a certain point of development and the belgium blues are about 160 meters tall. Over a hundred years, farmers has only allowed the bulls and the cows with the greatest muscle mass to mate. There is a gene in cattle that regulates the growth of muscle. These cows have been selectively breed from animals that contain a copy of this gene which does not work. As a result, their muscles grow far larger than usual. The reproduction of these creatures have been replaced by technology in the form of artificial insemination. Artificial insemination is the introduction and deliberation of sperm cells into the female's cervix or uterine cavity for the purpose of achieving a pregnancy through in vivo fertilization by means other than sexual intercourse. Their sperm cells are very active.

Next came the hairless chicken that needs no plucking. These chickens aren't suitable for colder countries, in hot climates the birds will fare better because they are featherless. Professor Avigdor Cahaner who led the project, said that it’s not a genetically modified chicken but in fact that it comes from a natural breed whose characteristics have been known for 50 years. He said that he is just transferring that to fast growing broiler chickens. It has an appearance like a normal chicken. The difference is between the feathers. He said that broiler chickens were fed intensively to maintain fast growth, which led them to a high body heat; and this meant that particularly in hotter countries, they 'suffer enormously. '' The featherless birds would tend to be leaner, and perhaps grow faster he said, which would improve the quality of the meat and save producers money.

The next creature is the glow-in-the-dark rabbits with a Jellyfish gene in their DNA made by Dr. Louis-Marie Houdebine. These rabbits glow green in the dark due to this gene. The last but not least the Salmon, they normally grow in warm water and not during winter but with the help of genes from other fish, salmon is genetically modified to grow all year round whatever the temperature of water bodies is and it usually grows 4-6 times faster than the normal once.

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When we come to animal cloning, expert cloner Loner Oh Wang showed us how to clone by using a bovine(a cow egg). He took out all the DNA in creating a blank for the actual cloning process which means that we need an empty egg for the process. Then he took the DNA from the animal he wanted from the skin cell. At last he sparked the eggs with electricity inorder to wake up the DNA. One cell to each egg. They cloned an extraordinary horse which could not reproduce.

On the other hand, Plant cloning is the act of producing identical genetic plants from an ordinary or an original plant. Simply cloning can be defined as, just to take the cutting/clipping of a plant and grow it elsewhere on its own. After 1 upto 3 weeks, the roots will be forming from the cutting, and a new life of a clone begins. when cloning plant we usually call it propagation instead of cloning because we use a kind of propagation called artificial propagation. In this kind of propagation we use a process called grafting which involves plants with desired variety are placed.

They went to the greenhouse which has a biohazard containment facility, the sort of place where you would place a species from another planet. So these plants in there aren't even allowed into the open air for a moment because people think that it can cause genetic pollution(cross pollution). But the strange thing is that we eat these crops everyday. Every cutting is meticulously cataloged and recorded. So what they did here is to manage rise by making it rich in vitamin A. The scientists persuaded it to produce carotenoids. The amazing thing about this is that they added up 3 genes. Two from the Daffodil and one from bacteria which they thought would help produce carotenoids and they inserted these 3 genes to rice DNA. After many trial and error they finally got it in 1999. They called it Golden rice.

These mutants like the glowing rabbit are presented as an advantage for medical research. The gene being used like a fluorescent marker pen to track the cells following organ transplantation, and to find new treatments and cures for blindness and bone disease. The belgium blues are buffy so they have a lot of meat which means that we can eat a lot of it. Vitamin A deficiency is a condition that kills 2. 5 million people a year. It causes blindness, suppresses the immune system and ultimately causes death from common infections. Golden rice is a transgenic plant which produces a structure called beta carotene in the endosperm which is presented as part of the solution to fight vitamin A deficiency and might save millions of lives in the whole world, especially the developing parts of the world. It's cheap and produce plant quickly when cloning plants.

These mutant might be good but there are bad things too. The nutrition value of the food can be less. For instance, it can increase the fat content of the meat consumed by over 220 percent. At the same time, the amount of protein that is received is also reduced. The amount of diversity developed can be less favorable when breeding. For example the pedigree dogs suffer many health problems and have a high risk of genetically inherited disorders. This is because they breed a lot with it and they have only thinking of the good genes while the bad genes attack the dogs so they may die and we lost a lot of species like that. Its unethical and very expensive to clone animals. Sometimes I think its stupid to clone animal because of these disadvantages.

These technologies have an enormous impact on us and the environment, pretty much everything. These technologies can also be used in pharmacy to make cures for humans. Pretty everyone like bacon but the amount of pork we eat are causing a lot of problems. We have been rescued by the so called enviropigs. We have killed around 2 billion pigs and these creatures provide more dietary protein more cheaply to more people than any other animal, but consumption comes as a cost. What the professor John Phillips recognized was that these animals produce manure of their own. Pig manure is a natural product that contains a high amount of phosphorus but is a serious environmental problem. It kills the fish and cause the overgrowth of algae. Based on the high phosphorus pig manure he made these enviropigs. These pigs looks as normal as possible but they are totally different because they carry a special gene which allows them to digest all of its phosphorus in their diet. They made this gene in the laboratory from scratch.

On the other hand, the super salmon is a genetic modified animal which is extra big. The main reason for the creation of these creatures are for our dining pleasure. They grow six to four times larger than an ordinary salmon. So the specific about these salmons are that they can adapt to various conditions in order to grow. Another use for us is fruit. Most fruits are made by cloning which most people don't know. The truth is that apple is made by grafting. Grafting an apple tree involves combining the bottom rootstock of one tree to the scion of another. So they make that inorder to get a delicious taste. And In the end giles got to eat the meat from the selective bred belgium blue. He said that the meat was purely and lean but he said that it was tasteless and it’s a waste of time to fix this kind of food.

In conclusion, people have used selective breeding for thousands of years without an understanding of genetics, inbreeding and altered the genomes of species for thousands of years through selective breeding. A new technique was discovered. Genetic engineering as the direct manipulation of DNA by humans different from selective breeding. The main difference is that breeding makes use of existing, naturally present gene variants in a species and the natural process of breeding while genetic engineering involves a direct change to an organism’s genome in the laboratory. Gene variants made through genetic engineering can be passed from one generation to the next. There is no doubt that genetic engineering of animals will continue well into the future and we hope it's for the good. Genetic engineering is a scientific breakthrough that has led to developments in biotechnology. Growth and human consumption of genetically modified crops has been on the increase argumentation less regard to the consequences. Thus, ethical issues arise as they try to determine if genetically modified crops are good, bad or either it might be neutral for humans. Genetic engineering can have very many dangers. But such fears will reduce once it is realized that everything has the potential to be dangerous or harmful. Thus, this issues arising due to genetically modified crops can be related to the ethical issues resulting from the science. Cloning has also helped every living organism, for instance cloning has helped animals from extinction and for us humans, it’s a big thing. But sometimes it's also unethical and can can cause damage. Scientists want to get further with this technology to create amazing creatures yet to be discovered. So totally these three techniques of biology are amazing, almost everyone is benefited.

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