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Genetically Modified Organisms
Transcript of Genetically Modified Organisms
Genetically modified organisms are extremely controversial. The DNA is altered in embryonic stem cells of mice which are grown in a dish, and then injected into mice embryos. A DNA construct (phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase) is inserted into the cell, which is an artificial strand of nucleic acids. This system relies on pronuclear injection. The purpose of breeding these mice is to examine the energy metabolism of mice and how altering the metabolism can affect the organism. Plus, scientists want to see the role that one metabolically important enzyme would play in a tissue where there is not a high concentration of the specific enzyme.
In addition, the purpose of experimentation is to better understand the PEPCK-C enzyme (Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase) which is present in the liver and kidneys. Because of the modification the super mice have up to 100 times the concentration of the enzyme than normal mice do.
But, the physical and behavioral changes were completely unexpected. Usually, scientists have to perform a blood test to see changes in genetically modified organisms. Only weeks after these mice were born they began to show different characteristics, like the fact that they were more active. Genetically modifying mice can lead to many advances in medicine and human health.
For instance, further research could possibly connect a high-calorie diet and cancer, as well as a low-calorie diet and longevity. This could improve the life expectancy and health of many humans.
Also, scientists can use this information to develop medicines to increase muscle endurance for patients with muscle dystrophy and other muscular disorders.
Finally, scientists can use the results from this test to somewhere in the future complete human gene therapy. This is because humans and mice share this gene. In my opinion, the results that come from the mice should not be allowed to be implemented on humans. This is because it is extremely wrong; a mouse is not an accurate model for a human. It would be unethical to even try to experiment with human genes in this way. In addition, the technology isn’t perfect. Relying on random insertion is not safe enough to test on humans. There is a potential for many complications to occur. Not only that but if doctors produce a drug to improve muscle endurance there is a chance that it will be abused. Athletes might attempt to take it illegally in order to boost their performance in athletic events. In 2007 American scientists created genetically modified “super mice” by altering a metabolism gene shared with humans.
The mice receive DNA from parent mice; also the mice are injected with an active form of the gene for an enzyme called phosphoenolpyruvate carboxykinase, which is a gene found in humans as well.
The “super mouse” can run up to 6 km at 20 m per minute for five hours without stopping, lives longer, and can breed at three times the normal age maximum.
It will also eat twice as much as control mice yet not put on weight, and has shown signs of aggression.
This alteration stimulates use of body fat for energy production. Also, the mice do not experience a buildup of lactic acid, which prevents muscle cramps. Citations "Content on This Page Requires a Newer Version of Adobe Flash Player." Brainwaving RSS. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Mar. 2013. <http://www.brainwaving.com/2010/07/28/genetically-modified-animals/>.
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