Transgenic« Back to Glossary Index
A transgenic organism (otherwise known as a genetically modified organism (GMO)) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered. Genetic modifications are made to produce certain traits (such as disease resistance in crops) or to cause the organism to produce specific biological products (for example, bacteria have been altered in order to produce insulin for diabetes treatment, and plants have been altered to make antibodies for blood-clotting factors).
Transgenic organisms are used in the production of medicines, in new forms of medicine such as gene therapy, and in agriculture.
Genetic modification is also a useful tool for scientists in many areas of research, including those who study the mechanisms of human and other diseases.