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Over the past 10,000 years modification to produce desired traits in plants, animals and microbes used for food began. These changes, along with natural evolutionary changes have resulted in common food species that are now genetically different from their ancestors. However, in the last few decades humans have gained more knowledge and information on how to manipulate genetic transfer through transgenesis and selective breeding.
Transgenesis is the process of introducing a gene into the DNA base sequence from one organism to another. By doing this, the organism will display a new trait, which will then be passed onto its offspring. An example of this is transgenic cows. Transgenic cows are dairy cows who have had an extra gene or genes inserted into their DNA base sequence. By this it has caused a mutation to occur, in this instance, the mutation occurring is the new-found ability to produce lactose-free milk. This is occurring because scientists have injected genes from bacteria-like organisms (known as archaea) into cells retrieved from other cow’s embryos. As seen in Figure 1, forming a transgenic cow is a long, careful process. First the gene for the desired product (lactose) is identified and sequenced. A gene construct that contains the desired gene is then created using DNA cloning, restriction enzyme digests and ligation. After this, the gene construct is then introduced into the female cow via transfection, this is the process of infecting a cell with free nucleic acid. Once this has been completed transgenic bovine cells are selected and fused with bovine oocyte. The transgenic cells chromosomes are then reprogrammed to direct development into an embryo, which can then be implanted into another cow. After a 9-month period, a female cow is born. However, she will only express the transgene in her milk during lactation after her first calf has been born. This occurs because expression of the transgene is controlled by a promoter that is specific to the lactating mammary cells. Scientists believe that this will be beneficial towards society as “in the UK around 5% of the population are lactose intolerant. But in Africa and Asia this is exceeding up to 90% of the population who are lactose intolerant. Thus, we hope to commercialize the milk in the future”. However, currently in New Zealand milk or meat products from transgenic animals are not allowed to enter the animal or human food supply due to the ethical concerns and the potential impacts on animal welfare, food safety, labelling and regulations.
Another example of how humans have used genetic manipulation to create a transgenic organism was seen through blue roses. Scientists had spent many years trying to find out the correct gene to transfect into a rose cell in order to produce the blue colour mutation. As seen in figure 2 the scientists begin the transgenic process by putting the gene DFR into the rose to begin the colour process. After this, the…..
In Transgenic animals a number of biological implications can arise, one of these implications is the consequences it is having on the .
Similarly, selective breeding is the process by which humans use animal or plant breeding to selectively develop particular phenotypic traits by choosing which plants or animals will reproduce together. Humans undergo the selective breeding process in numerously different ways. One way that humans do selective breeding is through inbreeding, this is the process by which closely related animals’ mate together in the hopes of increasing desired traits in the next generation. A common example of this is seen through pedigree dogs, by which breeders mate the dogs with what we would see as their grandads, fathers, uncles etc. in order to make the desired phenotype a dominant gene in their offspring. Dog breeders do this in order to
Reduces gene pool.

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