Transgenic Animals


Transgenic animals are animals (most commonly mice) that have had a foreign gene deliberately inserted into their genome. Such animals are most commonly created by the microinjection of DNA into the pronuclei of a fertilised egg which is subsequently implanted into the oviduct of a pseudopregnant surrogate mother. This results in the recipient animal giving birth to genetically modified offspring. The progeny are then bred with other transgenic offspring to establish a transgenic line. Transgenic animals can also be created by inserting DNA into embryonic stem cells which are then micro-injected into an embryo which has developed for five or six days after fertilisation, or infecting an embryo with viruses that carry a DNA of interest. This final method is commonly used to manipulate a single gene, in most cases this involves removing or 'knocking out' a target gene. The end result is what is known as a ‘knockout’ animal.
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