Genetic engineering in animals covers a lot of topics. The process will include different kinds of management of the animal genetic code, in any specie or complexity. Genetic engineering among livestock has been existent for thousands of years through selective breeding. Humans get to choose the traits they need for animals, such as appearance and survivability. It is important to consider the effects of the process for the long term.
Modern Gene Changing
There are three kinds of genetic engineering that can be applied on animals in the modern era:
Genetic engineering in animals is still considered new science. Animal tissues and valves were used before in humans, with humans successfully getting pig hearts and vavles. The genetics used was simpler and experts learned through activities that were successful, without much information on how these truly functioned. The DNA of pig heart valves was the same enough that humans can have them interchanged with their own, provided the proper situations. The next phase, is to have pigs grow human hearts. The hearts will be coded straight from the humans' DNA.
Manipulating the Genes
Scientists have experienced a lot of negative results when trying to control the genes of animals. In some cases, there were also good effects, such as the engineering of a pig to make human insulin, now used to treat diabetes. Some of the concerns involved are the controlling of genes of a higher type organism and the challenges involved in the activity. There are also differences that are present between animals and humans that cannot easily be joined by science.
Cloning among animals can now be done by injecting one animal's DNA right into the fetus of one belong to the same specie, plus a vector that will clean out the DNA present in the embryo. The vector, at times, will not eliminate the first fetus DNA or the fetus will not acquire the new DNA. There are actually 277 attempts before Dolly, the lamb, was cloned straight from the skin cell of a 6-year-old child.
Scientists at present still have problems with cloning embryos without miscarriages happening. Embryos that acquire the new DNA will most likely develop mutations too. Stem cells come from other animals which can spell problems. Dolly is only a year old, but might present a lot of traits reminiscent to that of a 6-year-old. Cloned animals are also yet in question whether or not they can reproduce.
A lot of people are very concerned where science will draw the line in combining human and animal gene. There might be alterations in selective breeding and people who rely heavily in animal production might experience problems later on as animals are genetically engineered by powerful companies all over the globe. Humans, at present, are not yet prepared to mix their genes with animals, and the full effects of doing this is not yet known.