Cell Biology Library Assignment Chapter 10 – Transgenic Animals Carry Engineered Genes This section of Chapter 10 discusses transgenic

organisms and the methods which are used to produce them. These methods include gene replacement, gene knockout, and gene addition. These names are fairly self-explanatory; gene replacement involves the replacement of the chromosomal gene by homologous recombination with an engineered gene. Gene knockout also involves homologous recombination except, instead of an engineered gene, individual alleles are replaced with inactive ones, and then the organisms are selectively bred so as to produce an organism in which the targeted gene has been completely deactivated. Gene addition simply adds a gene into the genome without removal or alteration of other genes. Also addressed in the section are the nuances involved in genetic engineering. It is discussed that such technology is more difficult to implement in diploid organisms, particularly those with “large and complex genomes” (Alberts, et al. p. 342). It is discussed how these techniques could be applied to the human genome, especially for therapeutic effects. Somatic gene therapy is discussed as an alternative to direct mutation of the human genome; here, somatic cells which have been genetically corrected are introduced to the tissue most affected by the disease. It is mentioned, though, that such corrections will not be passed down to any of the offspring of the organism. In the case of altered genes, if the mutations affect reproductive cells, the alterations will affect any offspring of the organism. In the article “Interface of Biotechnology and Ecology for Environmental Risk Assessments of Transgenic Fish”, the issue of use transgenic fish in commercial environments is addressed. At the time of the publication, transgenic fish had yet to be implemented in such situations. The abstract mentions two main reasons behind this: one, there is the concern of the ecological effects if the fish were to escape into the wild, and two, there is great uncertainty as to how they would react in different situations. The latter is particularly interesting because it makes mention of genotype-environment interactions. It is usually agreed that the environment in which an organism exists affects the expression of its genes. This issue is particularly pertinent in transgenic animals, as their genes have been modified by technology. The abstract concludes by saying that more research into how these transgenic organisms are affected under a wide variety of environments is necessary to ensure maximum safety in dealing with these organisms. The ways in which these two resources approach the issue of transgenic organisms are very different. The textbook mostly focuses on the technical aspects of genetic mutations, whereas the abstract focuses on the affects that transgenes have on organisms, as well as the affects those organisms have on their environment. Very little is mentioned on the actual process of genetic engineering on these organisms. In addition, references to laboratory experiments are made, as well as the affect of gene-environment principles on the organisms and their handling. This is due to a fundamental difference in purpose of these two sources; the purpose of the textbook is mainly to explain what transgenic technology is, and so does not go into much detail on the nuances and effects of it, whereas the abstract assumes a basic knowledge of such material, and explores

issues more pertinent to the specific instance. Works Cited Alberts, Bruce, Dennis Bray, Alexander Johnson, Julian Lewis, Martin Raff, Keith Roberts, and Peter Walker. Essential Cell Biology. First ed. New York: Garland, Inc., 1997. 340-342. Devlin, Robert H., L F. Sundström, and William M. Muir. "Interface of Biotechnology and Ecology for Environmental Risk Assessments of Transgenic Fish." Trends in Biotechnology 24 (2006): 89-97. Abstract. ScienceDirect: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science?_ob=articleurl&_udi=b6tcw-4hwxj3d2&_user=10&_coverdate=02%2f28%2f2006&_rdoc=1&_fmt=&_orig=search&_sort=d &view=c&_acct=c000050221&_version=1&_urlversion=0&_userid=10&md5=d595b11 24725ef8f6e723ad9b5ddad92.

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