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Environmental Studies Factsheet: 06. Genetic Engineering

  • Environmental Studies Factsheet: 06. Genetic Engineering

Environmental Studies Factsheet: 06. Genetic Engineering

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  • Code: ESA-FSPI-006
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    A transgenic organism is an animal or plant into which a gene from a different species has been inserted.

     

    Examples of transgenic animals:

    • Pharming: insertion of genes from humans into, for example,cows or sheep so that their milk contains useful drugs or vaccines. For, example, scientists have inserted a gene from humans into sheep which allows the sheep to produce relatively large quantities of a protein that is used to treat people with a fatal lung disease.

     • Organ transplants: pigs are inserted with a human gene. It is hoped that such pigs will develop organs, for example a liver, that can be used for transplants in humans.

    • Agene that helped pout (it’s a fish!) tolerate cold ocean water has been transferred into salmon where it enables the salmon to grow three times faster, making production cheaper. The gene enables the salmon’s hormone production genes to work all year round. Normally, the salmon’s hormone production genes switch off when the water temperature falls below a certain level. By overriding the salmon’s normal reaction to cold temperatures, the pout genes mean the salmon grow all year round.