Associate Professor Leo, Tsz On LEE of the Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS), the University of Macau (UM) delivered a science talk entitled “Transgenic Animals for Research: What Do They Teach Us?” to 105 Form 5 students of Keang Peng School last Friday (17 Dec).
During the talk, Prof. Lee mentioned that transgenic technology is a breakthrough in molecular biology as transgenic animals are routinely used in laboratories as models in biomedical research. These genetically modified animals are important tools for understanding the pathology of genetic diseases, finding out effective treatments of diseases, analyzing gene function in the context of disease susceptibility, determining responses to a therapeutic intervention, etc.
Prof. Lee pointed out that a large number of transgenic animals have been created nowadays, such as sheep, monkeys, and mice as the mammals, and fish, fruit flies and C. elegans as non-mammalian animals. These animals have made significant contributions to human scientific research, especially in cancer research and drug production.
The students were so engaged in the talk, and they raised a lot of questions about the transgenic technology. In responding to the students’ questions, Prof. Lee mentioned that researchers have to strictly adhere to ethical limits while pursuing research and innovation, and human beings should not be genetically altered.