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Biotechnology- When biology meets technology Why is genetic engineering a valuable tool in Biology?
What is biotechnology? • Application of biological techniques to manipulate DNA to benefit humans • Biotechnology has impacted the fields of forensics, medicine, and agriculture.
Biotechnology- Forensics • Forensics uses scientific techniques to collect evidence • Used to analyze different DNA samples at a crime scene or to determine paternity of a child and compare it to a known sample • Process is called DNA fingerprinting and uses the technique of gel electrophoresis to conduct the DNA fingerprinting.
Forensics- DNA Fingerprinting process • Take DNA samples and use restriction enzymes to cut the DNA at certain sites. • The samples are placed in an agarose gel and into an electrophoresis machine where electrical charges are used to separate the pieces of DNA by size and molecular weight • Creates a banding pattern for each sample • If a crime scene blood sample was taken and a suspects sample matches up with the crime scene definitive evidence of guilt. In paternity tests matching band pattern must be seen between child and father
DNA Fingerprinting Animation • http://bcs.whfreeman.com/thelifewire/content/chp16/1602001.html • http://www.sumanasinc.com/webcontent/animations/content/paternitytesting.html
Selective Breeding and Hybridization Allowing only organisms with desired traits to produce offspring Crossing dissimilar organisms to bring together the best of both organisms Examples: Mule – Donkey and Horse Liger – Lion and Tiger Tangelo – Tangerine and Pomelo Wheat plants – Mostly hybrids Selected for ability to resist disease, weather tolerance, and produce the most grains
Advantages/Disadvantages Perks: Allows for desired improvement of a species. Humans select traits that they find appealing. Disadvantages: • Beef Cattle – Bigger cattle produces more meat. More meat = More $ “Double Muscling” • (Problems with birthing) cows have a harder time birthing their young because they are too big. • Loss of certain traits over time if the same ones are repeatedly passed down.
Advantages/Disadvantages • Sterility results in some animals which means they cannot produce offspring. • Generally will make plants hardier and more disease resistant. • Can combine disease resistance with food-producing capabilities. (Crops)
Biotechnology in Medicine ( Recombinant DNA Technology)- Transformation • Genetic alternation of one organism’s DNA to transform it to express a section of another organism (foreign) DNA • Bacteria are usually used as vectors to place beneficial genes inside because they can mass produce the gene quickly Example: Using bacteria to create insulin. Humans use the bacterial plasmid to insert desired genes and have the bacteria produce the product in this case, human insulin. Using transformation is a faster and cheaper process to assist humans need for insulin.
Recombinant DNA Technology in Agriculture- Genetic Engineering in Plants • Recombinant transformation can also happen with crops called plant hybridization • Desired genes can be inserted into crop DNA to: • enhance the vitamins by inserting genes for specific vitamins (golden rice- enhanced with Vitamin A) • Resist certain insects, can tolerate herbicides, prevent rotting
Food Genetic Engineering- GMO • Genetically Modified Foods • Rice, tomatoes, corn, and other common food products have been genetically modified withstand harsher tempertures, grow larger, be preserved longer on shelves,make toxins so pests don’t eat them. • Cows that produce human milk (contain human gene)
Advantages of Biotechnology in Agriculture • Advantage- Can help individuals that have deficiencies. • Advantage- Crop yield increases and can have a longer life • Advantage- farmers can charge and make more money • Advantage- the food that we eat may contain more nutrients
Disadvantages of Biotechnology in Agriculture • May cause health related issues in human (e.g. allergic reactions) since the inserted genes come from a foreign vector and the foods are not labeled if they have been genetically modified. Not FDA regulated • Environmental threat- herbicide tolerant crop plants do not die when exposed to weed killing chemicals, so an increased amount may have to be sprayed to ensure greater weed control can affect the habitats of other animals in the • Genetic pollution- cross pollination of genetically modified plants can become pollinated by non-genetically modified plants by wind, birds, and insects.
Genetically Modified Foods • http://www.cfs.gov.hk/english/programme/programme_gmf/programme_gmf_er_res2.html
Biotechnology- Gene Therapy • Use a vector (virus) and place needed genes in to replace faulted genes • Used for cancer therapy, replacing missing factors and enzymes in organism
Gene Therapy • http://www.edu365.cat/aulanet/comsoc/Lab_bio/simulacions/GeneTherapy/GeneTherapy.htm
Cloning • Creating an identical copy of something – produced from a single cell. • When cloning animals we are not certain about the effects on the created organism. Usually cloned organisms are sick and do not live very long. • Ex. Dolly and premature aging
Advantages of cloning • Creating tissues for transplantation that would not be rejected by the organism- therapeutic cloning • Using these tissues to help fight diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s (replace damages brain cells) • Create therapeutic proteins like antibodies (monoclonal antibodies)and have several copies
Disadvantages of cloning • Reduced the variety in a species since all organisms have the same genetic information. Think of cloning humans…we would all have the exact same traits not good as a species • Organisms that are cloned usually experience premature aging • Going against the natural order of things in the world.
Therapeutic Cloning- Stem Cell Research • Stem cell: cells found within the body that have not become specialized for a particular function • Found in adult bone marrow, umbilical cord blood, and human embryos • May be able to take a patient’s own disease free cells and grow them outside of the body when needed and alter them to create a specific cell type that is needed • Re-introduce them into patient for possible therapy benefits