Quiz 10: Aquatic Biotechnology


NAOO (national oceanic and atmospheric administration) is an agency in United States that mainly focuses on the oceans and atmosphere. NAOO recently mainly concerned with the increase of bivalve shell fish which includes oysters, clams and mussels. The main goal of this organisation is to improve the social, economic and environmental benefits with the increase in the population of shell fish. The policy initiatives of NAOO are to provide employment benefits and business interlinking between the companies. As the demand for sea food keep on increasing the organisation mainly targeted this goal. They can maintain the shell fishes without throwing them into the list of endangered species. Growing shell fishes in the oceans maintain its acidity and thus maintaining the ecosystem. Thus NAOO planned the goal with different policies to harvest bivalve shell fishes which is advantageous in many aspects.

A normal eukaryotic cell contains a pair of sex chromosomes. A triploidy or a triploid cell is the one that has three in place of the normal two sex chromosomes. Thus, triploid fishes are those whose cells have three sex chromosomes in their nucleus. Transgenic fishes are those whose cells have transgenic genome. It means that certain genes that are responsible for resistance to disease or that increase the growth rate are inserted in the genome of the cell. These transgenic or also called genetically engineered fishes can be cultivated by introducing a single or multiple genes belonging to one species into the genome of another species. The whole procedure of the production of transgenic animals relies on the following three basic steps: a) First, it is required to isolate and identify the particular genes in an organism that possesses the anticipated characteristic. The genes can be collected either from the fish of a similar species, or from other species like from bacteria, plants, animals, or even from humans. b) The isolated gene is then introduced into the projected egg of target fishes. c) When these genes are successfully introduced, the novel transgenic fishes are upraised in farming tanks.

Natural ecosystems are under high risk because of the introduction of transgenic fishes and shellfishes in the environment. Also, these species raise the question of food safety. Investigators have established that the genes inserted in the genome to promote resistance to disease may alter the biological system of the fish to absorb more of the toxic substances, such as mercury. The amount of toxins taken by them in their life time would be consumed by humans. Thus, humans would have higher level of toxins that is responsible for 90 percent of the allergies in them. If proteins from any of the species of fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, and soybeans are used for the production of transgenic fish, there is a chance that the fish can incite an allergic reaction in the consumer. A common reason for the formation of transgenic fishes is to enhance their rate of growth to meet increasing demand. Thus, the fishes are inserted with genes that promote speedy growth. A very large dosage of the growth hormones is likely to impose health risks on consumers who eat raw food such as sushi. There has not been much research on the topic, and thus the prospective health hazards because of transgenic animals is still not that clear. Each year, millions of transgenic fish outflow from their open water facilities and pollute native populations. Genetic modifications in the transgenic fish give them competitive benefits over the native species. Because of their fast rate of growth comparatively, they quickly reach their stage of sexual maturity and thus breed early and at a faster rate than their native complements. Therefore, it is likely that transgenic genes would spread all through the native population dropping the genetic diversity in the population. Ultimately, it would result in dramatic decrease and even extinction of the entire native species.

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