, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 47-61

Animal transgenesis: state of the art and applications

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Abstract

There is a constant expectation for fast improvement of livestock production and human health care products. The advent of DNA recombinant technology and the possibility of gene transfer between organisms of distinct species, or even distinct phylogenic kingdoms, has opened a wide range of possibilities. Nowadays we can produce human insulin in bacteria or human coagulation factors in cattle milk. The recent advances in gene transfer, animal cloning, and assisted reproductive techniques have partly fulfilled the expectation in the field of livestock transgenesis. This paper reviews the recent advances and applications of transgenesis in livestock and their derivative products. At first, the state of art and the techniques that enhance the efficiency of livestock transgenesis are presented. The consequent reduction in the cost and time necessary to reach a final product has enabled the multiplication of transgenic prototypes around the world. We also analyze here some emerging applications of livestock transgenesis in the field of pharmacology, meat and dairy industry, xenotransplantation, and human disease modeling. Finally, some bioethical and commercial concerns raised by the transgenesis applications are discussed.