First we had the the transgenic mice made using a technique that eliminates the need for hundreds of mice eggs or sacrificing the rodents post-experiment. In short, a deathless technique. Scientists at the National Institute of Immunology at New Delhi made the transgenic animals inserting genes in the testicular germ cells (spermatogonia) of mice through a process called in vivo electroporation or passing mild current for a fraction of a second. The technique would help every biologist generate his own transgenic animals at low cost without the help of specialised labs.
After that we now have the first ‘made in India’ transgenic chicken developed using spermatozoa from male chicken to transfer a green fluorescent protein gene from jellyfish. The protein worked as a marker for the scientists to see if it showed up in the transgenic animals. And it did, with an efficiency of 6%.
The technology is not new (it is already in use in the US, Canada, UK and China). However, developing it in a state poultry body in Hyderabad, Indian scientists have managed to standardise transgenic chicken development at home. That is something to cheer. Also, according to the scientists, transgenic chicken can become a production house for biologically important proteins and peptides for use in medicine. This again is heartening news.