Learning from Transgenic Organism: The Science of Transgenic Technology

Learning from Transgenic Organism: The Science of Transgenic Technology

How to Make a Transgenic Organism?

The genes contain chemical blueprints which influence the organisms’ traits; moving or changing the genes from certain organism to another will transfer the traits. The genetic engineering targeted the new genes combination which cannot or does not develop by nature. The process of transgenic organism starts with the identification of the gene targets the followed by isolating the targeted genes to make the genes able to be multiplied. After isolation, the next step is cloning the genes and placed it in a construct. The next process is the DNA construction which is used as the vector or vehicle to carry the targeted genes to the recipient organisms. After constructing the DNA, the next is the inducing transgenic technique or transferring the DNA construction to the recipient tissue which usually is fertilized eggs. The next step is integrating the gene to the recipient organism and also understands the gene expression in the recipient organism. Finally, the last process is the inheritance of the genes to be developed for further generations.

Why Mice?

In most of the genetic engineering experiments; scientists mostly use mice as the guinea pig. For the new drug invention to cure various diseases; the scientists mostly rely on mice for many reasons. Mice and rats or known as rodents have a small size and they are easy to maintain and housed. They adapt well and quick to new surroundings. Within the short lifespan of only two or three years only, mice reproduce quickly; therefore, the plenty mice generations can be observed within a short period of time.

Experiments are relatively expensive; however, mice are generally inexpensive and they can be bought in a large amount from producers which commercially breed mice for research. In addition, mice are generally docile and mild tempered which makes the easy to handle for the researchers. For medical research, the mice used are usually inbred which are identical to each other with only sex differences. This kind of mice helps the medical results appear more uniform. Moreover, researchers use mice for the research especially for medical testing because they have similar biological, genetic, behavioral characteristic to humans. Also, several human condition symptoms can be replicated in mice. Overall, mice can be used for most behavioral, aging, sensor, nutrition, as well as genetic studies.

What is Genetic Engineering?

The genetic engineering or also known as genetic modification is a manipulation directly or changing the genetic cells. The process includes genes transfer within across the cells’ boundaries in order to produce novel or improved organism. The genetic changing can be employed in the plant, animal, and also bacterium. According to the NHGRI or National Human Genome Research Institute, the genetic engineering process uses the recombinant DNA or rDNA or the DNA which has been separated from more than two different organisms. The process then continues to incorporate the isolated rDNA or DNA into a single molecule.

The technology of recombinant DNA has discovered in the early 1970s in which the first company of genetic engineering was the Genentech. Founded in 1976, the company firstly invented the human insulin by isolating the genes which then incorporate it with E. Coli bacteria. The process allowed the bacteria to produce human insulin. For the first genetically produce a vaccine for humans was for curing hepatitis B. Dated after the 1980s, the genetic engineering has been widely used to produce anything to make human life easier. The technology was used to produce lithium-ion battery to crops which have high infection resistant.

Transgenic Mice vs Knockout Mice

It is widely known that mice are usually used for genetic modification research. However, do you know that there are also the knockout mice which also used for research? A knockout mouse is a kind of genetically modified mice in which the researchers have knocked out or inactivated certain existing genes and replace it with artificial DNA. The transgenic mice refer to mice which the genome contains the inserted DNA piece.

Transgenic Organism Examples

Until these days, the transgenic organism has made the human life easier and better in some ways. Whether you realize or not, some of the food that we consume every day probably is the result of the transgenic organism. Here are some of the transgenic organism examples which can be found in everyday life.

Corn – You certainly have been noticing that certain food brand that produces corn flakes label the product as a genetically modified organism or GMO. Surprisingly, almost of 85% of corns which are grown in the US are genetically modified in order to make the plant resistant to herbicide glyphosate which is usually used to eliminate weeds.

Sugar beets – this one is a controversial vegetable as it was approved in 2005, then banned in 2010 and got deregulated again in 2012. The sugar beets are genetically modified vegetables which fulfill half of the sugar production in the US as well as 95 percent of the sugar beet market demand.

Blue roses – previously, blue roses is created using dyeing techniques; however, a Japanese company, Suntory developed the blue rose through modification with pansy genes.

Transgenic Organism Pros and Cons

Despite the good thing that transgenic organism brings to the human life; the technology also has the bad side. The good things that transgenic organism brings are that the technology can make crops has higher yield with less fertilizer and more pests resistant. The transgenic organism creates the breeding in relatively short time compare to the slow traditional breeding. In certain ways, the transgenic technology is definitely more predictable in which numerous of genes can be transferred randomly to the offspring in an instant. However, the transgenic organism also comes with several drawbacks such as not every product is thoroughly tested. The shortest research is done within 90 days only and many people doubt the possible risks. The genetically modified organism somehow triggers allergic for some people in unpredictable ways. Even though, the food which is the product of transgenic organism are safe to be consumed; however, not all the product are safe considering that each product has its own risks and benefits as well.