Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome has been on the check list to find a cure for ever since it become known in 1981. Although they have found treatments for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) scientists are still searching for a cure and going to lengths they never thought they would, such as making transgenic cats. As there are humans who suffer from suffer from HIV there are cats that die from feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and as the viruses responsible for FIV and HIV are highly alike, there was no question about it that using cats to find a cure was too good to pass off but with it made me question. it ethical to mutate cat genes with feline Immunodeficiency virus before they are born, that could be potentially harmful to their wellbeing, for the sake of humans in having a better understanding of human immunodeficiency virus? My topic of transgenic cats helping research with HIV with the issue of the cats wellbeing had become of particular interest to me as I have cats myself and when I had seen this appear while searching I wanted to learn about what the researches were hoping to achieve and also what procedures were happening to the cats and if these would have any detrimental damage to the cats wellbeing. In this written report I will be discussing the biological concepts specific to my investigation, these include the procedures and techniques being completed to make the transgenic cats as well as what changes will be occurring to the cats cells. Further into my report I will be exploring the influences of social, economic, legal and ethical factors relevant to transgenic cats.
The deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) molecule consists of nucleotides. Each of these nucleotides consist of a sugar group, phosphate group and a nitrogen base. Each nucleotide will contain a nitrogen base which there are four of, these include Adenine (A), Thymine (T), Guanine (G) and Cytosine (C). It is the order of these bases which will determine the DNA instructions or as it is also known as, the genetic code. It is the DNA instructions that are in the shape of two long strands that spiral to create what’s known as a double helix.
These days researches use what is known as DNA sequencing, this type of technology allows those researching to specify the orders of the four nitrogen bases, chromosomes and even a genome. Transgenic animals are those who have deliberately had a gene introduced into their genome, there are many different editing techniques that can be used to edit DNA sequences. For my investigation on transgenic glow in the dark cats, the researchers have used the viral vector technique, the viral vector technique is known to be the most effective way of transferring genes to modify a specific cell type. This method uses viral vector to directly introduce the gene into the cat egg cell which would then be fertilized through IVF and transferred into a womb. The genes that will have been introduced into the cats include a green fluorescent protein gene which would be from the jellyfish, the purpose of this was so researchers could determine if the gene transfer was successful or not, if it were a success the cats would glow green whilst in the dark. The second gene being introduced would be an antiviral gene which is present in Rhesus monkeys, this gene in particular can block retroviruses including HIV and FIV.
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