Organ Transplantation

–          Living donations of the kidney, part of liver, lobe of lung, part of intestine and portion of pancreas can be made

–          A donor must be healthy in order to give an organ

–          The demand for living organs is increasing

–          For cultural and personal reasons, some are resistant to transplants from cadavers

–          In some countries organs are obtained through coercion or force and sold (organ trafficking)

–          Another strategy to obtain more organs for transplant is using animal-to-human transplants (xenotransplantation)

Gene Therapy

–          Involves replacing a faulty gene with a normal one

–          The HGP (Human Genome Project) identified up to 25000 genes in human DNA making this possible

–          Currently still experimental

–          In the future may be used to treat cancer, genetic disease and viral infection

Reproductive Technologies (AI and IVF)

–          AI (Artificial insemination) – collecting sperm from a male and placing it in the reproductive system of a female. Used in humans from “sperm banks.” Used in cattle.

–          IVF (In vitro fertilization) – sperm and eggs are collected and placed in a test tube or petri dish for fertilization to take place in a controlled environment. The developing embryo is implanted in the female’s uterus. Many are implanted since the chance of survival is less than 50%

Sex Selection Technologies

–          Choosing the sex of a baby through methods such as sperm separation and staining, and PGD (Pre-implantation genetic diagnosis)

–          PGD is completed by choosing male or female embryos after the IVF process.

–          PGD’s original use was to detect genetic mutations linked to genetic diseases

Stem Cell research

–          Stem cells (refer to previous note) – group of unspecialized cells present in animals

–          All cells come from stem cells (specialize later)

Embryonic stem cells – from an embryo, can still differentiate

Adult stem cells – from an adults brain, bone marrow, limited ability to become

any type of cell

Cord blood – small amounts can be harvested

– Scientists believe they can treat injury and disease using stem cells


–          Creation of a genetically identical organism that is an exact copy of a gene, cell, tissue, organism

Cloning in Plants

–          Vegetative propaganda – cutting a piece from a plant and allowing it to root to produce another plant

–          Grafting – roots of one plant are attached to shoots of another to produce a more desirable type of plant (eg, a more desirable quality of fruit)

Cloning in Animals

–          Reproductive cloning – transferring a nucleus from a donor body into an egg that has no nucleus. The egg is then transferred into the uterus of the mother

–          Gene cloning – transferring an egg into bacteria so that it reproduces multiple times. Useful in scientific research

–          Therapeutic cloning – same as reproductive cloning, but purpose is to harvest embryonic stem cells from a developing embryo

Transgenic Techniques

–          Transgenic organisms contain genes from other species

–          Used to study the effects of disease and for xenotransplantation

–          Transgenic plants have been developed to have increased resistance to disease or environmental conditions

author avatar
William Anderson (Schoolworkhelper Editorial Team)
William completed his Bachelor of Science and Master of Arts in 2013. He current serves as a lecturer, tutor and freelance writer. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, walking his dog and parasailing. Article last reviewed: 2022 | St. Rosemary Institution © 2010-2024 | Creative Commons 4.0

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