I think DNA research applications for genealogical research are directly related and equivalent to fingerprinting. More crimes have been solved with fingerprint evidence than for any other reason.
Transgenics refers to those specific genetic engineering processes that remove genetic material from one species of plant or animal and add it to a different species.
Due to the high similarity in genetic sequences for proteins among species, transgenic organisms are able to effectively assimilate and express these trans-genes. The mule is a common example of a transgenic organism created when a horse and a donkey mate and produce offspring.
Image courtesy Wade B. Worthen, Furman University, Biology Department. Transgenics involves removing genetic material from one species and adding it to another. The process of creating a transgene begins by isolating the gene of interest from a donor organism or selecting for purchase any of the thousands of known genes from massive online genomic databases.
Once the gene is obtained, it is usually altered so it can function more effectively or be expressed more readily in the host organism.
A transgenic organism is further defined as one that contains a transgene introduced by technological methods rather than through selective breeding. Hybrids are transgenic organisms created when reproductive cells from two species combine to form a single embryo e. Current Developments Figure 2: Golden rice right compared to white rice.
By incorporating a human protein into bananas, potatoes, and tomatoes, researchers have been able to successfully create edible vaccines for hepatitis B, cholera, and rotavirus, the latter of which can cause fatal bouts of diarrhea. One of the proposed goals is to create trees that could illuminate streets and pathways, thereby saving energy and reducing our dependence upon limited energy resources; however, the public release of such plants has sparked a heated debate centered around potential environmental impacts of introducing highly genetically engineered plants into natural ecosystems.
The fiber artificially created from this silk protein has several potentially valuable uses, such as making lightweight, strong, yet supple bulletproof vests. Other industrial and medical applications include stronger automotive and aerospace components, stronger and more biodegradable sutures, and bioshields, which can protect military personnel and first responders from chemical threats such as sarin gas.
Pigs may serve as a valuable source of organs and cells for transplantation into humans. Genetic engineering and transgenic combinations represent a significant aspect of current biotechnology research. Xenotransplantation, or the transplantation of living tissues or organs from one species to another, is often seen as a potential way to alleviate the shortage of human hearts and kidneys.
Pigs have a similar physiology and organ size, making porcine pig organs ideal candidates for transplantation into human recipients. Genetic manipulation of stem cells now includes the growth of tissues on a scaffolding, or a 3-D printer, which then can be used as a temporary skin substitute for healing wounds or burns.
Tissue engineering is becoming a viable alternative in procedures that involve replacement of cartilage, heart valves, cerebrospinal shunts, and other organs. Transgenics and genetic engineering also present a variety of ethical considerations that span social, as well as extrinsic and intrinsic, concerns.
Ethical Issues Transgenic biotechnology presents an exciting range of possibilities, from feeding the hungry to preventing and treating diseases; however, these promises are not without potential peril.
Some of the issues that need to be considered are the following: Social Concerns If the blending of animal and human DNA results, intentionally or not, in chimeric entities possessing degrees of intelligence or sentience never before seen in nonhuman animals, should these entities be given rights and special protections?
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What, if any, social and legal controls or reviews should be placed on such research? What unintended personal, social, and cultural consequences could result? Who will have access to these technologies and how will scarce resources—such as medical advances and novel treatments—be allocated?
Extrinsic Concerns What, if any, health risks are associated with transgenics and genetically modified foods? Should research be limited and, if so, how should the limits be decided?
How should the limits be enforced nationally and internationally? Intrinsic Concerns Are there fundamental issues with creating new species? What, if any, consequences are there of blurring species boundaries? What, if any, research in genetic engineering should be considered morally impermissible and banned e.
The issue of crossing species boundaries represents a current topic of debate for bioethicists. Many plants and animals form hybrids in nature.
Should these hybrids be considered separate species? As a result, the U. Food and Drug Administration FDA has banned xenotransplantation trials using nonhuman primates until the procedures have been adequately demonstrated to be safe and until ethical issues have been sufficiently publicly discussed.
However, with the advent of stem cell tissue engineering and 3-D printing, xenotransplantation may quickly become outmoded, opening the doors to more complex social, ethical, and legal issues and discourses.BibMe Free Bibliography & Citation Maker - MLA, APA, Chicago, Harvard.
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Updated November Introduction. Genetic engineering, or genetic modification, uses a variety of tools and techniques from biotechnology and bioengineering to modify an organism’s genetic makeup.
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