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Give the importance/significance of transgenic animals. - Biology

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Short Note

Give the importance/significance of transgenic animals.

Give the significance of transgenic animals for betterment of life.

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Solution 1

Importance of transgenic animals:
a. To understand the normal physiology and  development: Specifically designed transgenic animals help us to understand the mechanism of gene regulation. It is used to study how genes affect the normal functions and development of the body. For e.g. study of biological role of insulin, role of growth factor in regulating body’s growth.

b. To test vaccine safety : Transgenic animals are used as laboratory animals to test efficiency of newly discovered vaccines before it is used on human beings. Mice are used to test polio vaccines

c. To test chemical or toxin safety : For this, transgenic animals with foreign genes are produced so that the transgenic animals become more sensitive to toxic chemicals than the non-transgenic animals. These animals are exposed to toxic chemicals and their effects are observed.

d. To serve as a model for study of diseases: Transgenic animals help us to study how genes contribute to development of disease and for
investigation of new treatments for diseases. Transgenic animals are now available to study cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, cystic fibrosis, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.

e. To obtain biological products: Transgenic animals are created to produce biological compounds or molecules that are useful in various ways. It is accomplished by introducing the gene coding for a particular molecule, into the animal. For e.g. Rosie, first transgenic cow was produced which produced milk containing human protein, alpha lactalbumin.

Solution 2

Transgenic animals have great importance as
(1) to study the normal physiology and development, working of genes, their regulation etc.
(2) study of diseases susceptibility to different diseases has been found to the genetically controlled, transgenic animals can be used to study how genes take part in the development of diseases,
(3) By inserting genes for some important biological products especially milch animals, transgenic animals can be used for molecular farming or molecular harvesting, e.g., Protein a-1 antitrypsin for treating emphysema, lactoferrin (cow),
(4) Vaccine safety testing on transgenic animals before marketing,
(5) Chemical safety testing,
(6) Transgenic cattle with the extra gene for growth hormone and casein gives a very high yield of milk. Transgenic cow Rosie yielded milk with a high protein having human alpha-lactalbumin a highly nutritionally balanced diet for human babies. 

Concept: Commercial Applications of Biotechnology
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