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Medical research may be carried out on transgenic organisms to obtain information which can improve medical knowledge. For example, oncogene which causes cancer in humans can be inserted into mouse,

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Introduction

THE ROLE OF TRANSGENIC ORGANISMS CAN ONLY BENEFIT HUMANS. A transgenic organism is an organism whose genome has been modified or genetically manipulated by the introduction of a foreign gene. The first transgenic animal was produced in 1982, when a growth hormone from a rat was inserted into a mouse. Since then, genes from different species, including humans, has been introduced into animals, plants and even micro-organisms. (http://nabc.cals.cornell.edu). Genetic engineering provides an alternative to traditional methods of plant and animal breeding because it is a lot faster and efficient. Medical research may be carried out on transgenic organisms to obtain information which can improve medical knowledge. For example, oncogene which causes cancer in humans can be inserted into mouse, forming a transgenic organism called Oncomouse. The mouse develops tumours and is used in cancer research to find possible drugs for the disease (Biological science D. Taylor). Scientists are also finding ways to produce proteins or drugs in transgenic animals. Milk-producing transgenic animals like cows are especially useful for pharmaceutical medicines. Transgenic animals like pigs may also be designed for organ production, helping to reduce the shortage of kidneys and livers available for transplants. ...read more.

Middle

Transgenic organisms are designed to have a high quality of nutrition such as an increase in the proportion of the essential elements required for a balanced diet. For example, soybeans is developed with higher protein content, potatoes with more starch and rice with the ability produce beta-carotene, a type of vitamin A, to help prevent blindness especially in developing countries where people are malnourished. Transgenic milk-producing animals are designed to produce milk with less lactose or cholesterol. Pigs and cattle are designed so that they have more meat on them, and sheep are engineered to grow more wool. (http://www.actionbioscience.org) Genetic manipulation of organisms into transgenic organism lowers costs for farmers and consumers reasonably. It produces food with efficiency, saves time and energy. For example, transgenic pigs can convert grain into lean meat faster while consuming proportionally less grain. Also, raising transgenic fish is faster and cheaper because it takes less feed and half the time to produce more fish. Therefore, industry cuts cost by killing less animals for a pound of meat, farmers reduce the amount they spend on feed grains for the organism while still selling the same amount of product and the consumers who buy these products, benefit from the savings of the industry and farmers. ...read more.

Conclusion

Rapid soil erosion resulted in about 30% of agricultural soils in the U.S unsuitable for cultivation (http://www.actionbioscience.org). Transgenic organisms which are herbicide resistant, allows the usage of herbicides to control weeds rather than soil tillage. The reduction of frequent soil tilling maintains the soil structure, its nutrients and decreases soil erosion. Overall, soil is conserved. It is evident from the discussion above that the roles of transgenic organisms benefit humans a great deal while the environment remains a small beneficiary. This raises one of the most controversial topics among the public today. Some people ask "Is it morally justified for humans to exploit other organisms for their own selfish benefits, even when pain is being caused to the organisms?" On the other hand, others maintain that humans are superior to these organisms so if they can be used to improve many people's life then the technology should go on. Those who are somewhat indifferent wonder why a technology so useful is not widely accepted. However, "Survival of the fittest" is a rule which exists in most habitats and clearly that includes the earth. Humans are more or less the fittest so their survival is ensured which is why they benefit the most in any new discovery. ...read more.

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