TRANSGENIC ANIMALS

History

The first transgenic animals were Rudolf Jaenisch’s mice.  Jaenisch is a professor of biology at MIT.  In the 1970s he successfully introduced an outside gene into the mice embryos.  The mice and their offspring developed leukemia.

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Many animals such as chicken and cows have already produced eggs or milk with proteins that are good for humans.

 The first transgenic-animal drug has been made:

                                          


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ATryn is the first drug made by transgenic animals. It is an anti-blood-clotting drug.  People who have problems with blood-clotting usually go through surgeries or take other serious measures to stay healthy, but now they can use this drug which is made from proteins that the goats make.

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Scientists have made improvements that make the process of creating transgenic animals a little easier.

  • Along with the new gene inserted, a tracking gene can be attached so that the gene’s progress can be monitored.
  • With more knowledge about specific genes, certain drugs can be used that will kill the native gene unless it mixes with the foreign gene.

The entire human genome has been sequenced, so every single gene has been identified.  Now we could use transgenics to research what each gene does by how the animals respond to the gene.



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