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One of the great science fiction movies so far this century was Alfonso Cuarn's Children of Men (2006), in which infertility threatens humanity with...

4. One of the great science fiction movies so far this century was Alfonso Cuarón's Children of Men (2006), in which infertility threatens humanity with extinction.

(a) P-element hybrid dysgenesis in the fruit fly Drosophila is a frightening illustration of a mechanism by which this might happen in an animal species. Do some background research on this phenomenon in order to explain its molecular basis.

(b) Xenotransplantation has been suggested as a temporary solution of the problem of getting sufficient replacement organs to meet current needs. Pigs have been suggested as a potential source of organs, but most research was halted due to worries about potential risks to not just organ recipients, but to the human species as a whole from porcine endogenous retroviruses. What are endogenous retroviruses, and why do these pose a potential risk to humans.

(c) The CRISPR-Cas system for gene editing has been used to remove all known copies of porcine endogenous retroviruses from a pig cell genome. Does this suggest that xenotransplantation should now proceed (a moratorium on research was in effect until recently)? Explain your reasoning.

Top Answer

P-elements are transposable elements. TE's or transposos popularly called jumping genes. There are DNA sequences that move... View the full answer

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