Animal Biotechnology

Animal biotechnology is a branch of biotechnology in which molecular biology techniques are used to genetically engineer (i.e. modify the genome of) animals in order to improve their suitability for pharmaceutical, agricultural or industrial applications. Animal biotechnology has been used to produce genetically modified animals that synthesize therapeutic proteins, have improved growth rates or are resistant to disease. Animal health and efficiency in generating animal based products with a target to increase quantity as well as quality of such products is the ultimate motive behind scientific research. Animal biotechnology is the use of science and engineering to modify living organisms. The goal is to make products, to improve animals and to develop microorganisms for specific agricultural uses. Examples of animal biotechnology include creating transgenic animals (animals with one or more genes introduced by human intervention), using gene knock out technology to make animals with a specific inactivated gene and producing nearly identical animals by somatic cell nuclear transfer (or cloning). Animal biotechnology in use today is based on the science of genetic engineering. Under the umbrella of genetic engineering exist other technologies, such as transgenic and cloning, that also are used in animal biotechnology. The potential benefits of animal biotechnology are numerous and include enhanced nutritional content of food for human consumption; a more abundant, cheaper and varied food supply; agricultural land-use savings; a decrease in the number of animals needed for the food supply; improved health of animals and humans; development of new, low-cost disease treatments for humans; and increased understanding of human disease.

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