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In this unit, students develop their knowledge of transgenics so they can formulate an argument and make ethical decisions about using transgenic cows to make medicines to treat human diseases.

Purpose

To use science knowledge when considering the ethical issues involved in genetic modification of animals. Students learn how cows can be modified with human genes to help treat human diseases. Ethical frameworks are used to help students explore their views and the views of others and to reach their own informed and justified decision about transgenic technologies.

An update: changes in funding mean that AgResearch is no longer active in biomedical research projects. In its 2017 report to the EPA, AgResearch noted that it still has around 40 transgenic cows in its Waikato containment facility. Most of these cows are for casein and beta-lactoglobulin (BLG) research. Although some research mentioned in the transgenic cows story has ceased, the ethical issues involved in genetic modification of animals remain.

Keywords

Ethics, transgenics, genetic modification, ethical frameworks, risks, benefits.

    Published 18 July 2011, Updated 13 March 2018 Referencing Hub articles