Transgenics. Essay

1681 words - 7 pages

The field of transgenics has had a long history which has brought us to the point where we have developed many beneficial uses for it, and yet people still argue over ethics and uses of transgenic organisms. Transgenics involves altering an animal but is much different from traditional methods; transgenics is a relatively new field by comparison. Traditional methods have been used since early man, when the first dogs were tamed. Man kept dogs that were friendly and helped protect them. Over time, we have made dogs completely tame through this selective breeding. This has occurred with not only animals but from the beginning of agriculture, we have cultivated better and better crops. This all takes a long time to show benefits and results while altering organisms can be done much faster.What exactly is transgenics? Trangenics refers to the splicing of a DNA sequence from one organism into another, this is also known as Recombinant DNA (Futureworld). By 1943, DNA was proved to be the genetic molecule capable of altering the heredity of bacteria (Watson, 5). In 1947, the first sexually crossed mutant bacteria was produced by Edward Tatum and Joshua Landenberg (Watson, 5). When altering an organism transgenics can make it exhibit traits from a third parent, or in the case of a bacteria a second parent (Campbell, 397). This allows scientists to add a foreign quality to an organism and they have been doing this for a while. The first recombinant DNA molecule was created at Stanford University in 1972 (Watson, 5). These were both strides to further progress in the production of chimeras. A chimera is an organism with some foreign DNA (Watson, 155). The Chimera is a creature from Greek mythology and is a sister of the Sphinx. It is part lion, part goat, and part serpent.There were some problems with these early tests as there are in any new field (Peterson). By 1973 the first public concern over transgenics were expressed. Fears were that they could potentially generate dangerous, novel microorganisms (Watson, 6). Some transgenics involves impotent forms of dangerous things, because of this there is a possibility of a dangerous organism being produced if it is used. These types of risks caused the United Kingdom to call for special laboratory precautions for transgenic research (Watson, 61). These were to prevent the release of a harmful organism.The research of and the creation of chimeras created a need for guidelines on transgenic research. In 1976, the first guidelines were set in place by the National Institute of Health (Watson, 72). These guidelines severely held back the advancement of DNA research and the common opinion of researchers is expressed in the quote by J.D. Watson that "Recombinant-DNA-induced diseases, to me fall in the category of UFO's or witches." (Hall, 161). Some researchers paid no heed to these guidelines as they felt that the altering of genes was an eventuality.After much opposition, the NIH eventually lessened the...

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