3. Process of findings
Upon doing research on the topic of genetic modification and the use of transgenic organisms in the advancement of therapeutic medicine, one finds much information containing different viewpoints as to whether genetic modification and the creation of transgenic organisms is or is not essential to the development of therapeutic medicine. Therefore, to arrive at a definite conclusion, one must look further into the following topics;
• the possible medical uses that genetic modification and transgenic organisms could have in the future,
• the possible risks of genetic modification and the use of transgenic organisms in therapeutic medicine and
• current uses of genetic modification and transgenic organisms in the medical sector.
3.1) What is therapeutic medicine?
Therapeutic medicine is defined as the care and treatment of a patient. It includes relieving pain, treating symptoms of a disease, treating infection, surgery for the removal of the diseased tissues and surgery for the replacement of diseased tissues with functioning tissue. (Rakel, 2013)
3.2) Definition of Transgenic Organisms
A transgenic organism is an organism whose genetic material has been altered to carry genes from other organisms in order to acquire certain desired characteristics that those organisms display.
3.2.1) How Transgenic Organisms are made
There are various methods of creating transgenic organisms but the most widely used are; DNA microinjection, Retrovirus-mediated gene transfer and embryonic stem cell-mediated gene transfer, each of which have their own advantages and disadvantages (Margawati, 2003).
a) DNA Microinjection
This involves separating genetic material from the nucleus of one cell of a specific organism and injecting it into a reproductive cell of another organism of the same or different species. The two different sets of genetic material will combine and multiply by the process of mitosis. These cells will not be cultured in vivo (in the reproductive system of a living organism) but rather in vitro (under controlled conditions in a laboratory).These cells will later be transferred into a female organism to develop fully. This method is used in the cloning of animals. (Margawati, 2003).
b) Retrovirus-Mediated Gene Transfer
This involves the use of retroviruses as transport units to transport genetic coding from one cell into another. This method is effective in administering vaccines in humans. (Margawati, 2003).
c) Embryonic Stem Cell-Mediated Gene transfer
This refers to the insertion of genes from specialised tissue into a stem cell. This genetically altered cell will then develop into the specialised tissue whose genetic information was inserted into the stem cell. This process is used in cloning and in the creation of simple organs or body tissues. (Margawati, 2003).
3.3) Current application
Transgenic organisms and genetic modification are currently being used widely in the therapeutic medicine sector to...