Clinical and Experimental Psychology

Transgenesis News Scholarly Peer-review Journal

  A transgene is a gene that has been transferred naturally, or by any of a number of genetic engineering techniques from one organism to another. The introduction of a transgene, in a process known as transgenesis, has the potential to change the phenotype of an organism. Transgene describes a segment of DNA containing a gene sequence that has been isolated from one organism and is introduced into a different organism. This non-native segment of DNA may either retain the ability to produce RNA or protein in the transgenic organism or alter the normal function of the transgenic organism's genetic code. In general, the DNA is incorporated into the organism's germ line. For example, in higher vertebrates this can be accomplished by injecting the foreign DNA into the nucleus of a fertilized ovum. This technique is routinely used to introduce human disease genes or other genes of interest into strains of laboratory mice to study the function or pathology involved with that particular gene.The construction of a transgene requires the assembly of a few main parts. The transgene must contain a promoter, which is a regulatory sequence that will determine where and when the transgene is active, an exon, a protein coding sequence (usually derived from the cDNA for the protein of interest), and a stop sequence. These are typically combined in a bacterial plasmid and the coding sequences are typically chosen from transgenes with previously known functions.Transgenic or genetically modified organisms, be they bacteria, viruses or fungi, serve all kinds of research purposes. Transgenic plants, insects, fish and mammals have been bred. Transgenic plants such as corn and soybean have replaced wild strains in agriculture in some countries (e.g. the United States). Transgene escape has been documented for GMO crops since 2001 with persistence and invasiveness. Transgenetic organisms pose ethical questions and may cause biosafety problems. The idea of shaping an organism to fit a specific need isn't a new science; selective breeding of animals and plants started before recorded history. However, until the late 1900s farmers and scientist could breed new strains of a plant or organism only from closely related species, because the DNA had to be compatible for offspring to be able to reproduce another generation

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