Biotechnology • The use of microorganisms, cells, or cell components to make a product: • Foods • Vaccines • Antibiotics • Vitamins • Biodegradation
Genetic Engineering • Manipulating an organism’s genome to: • alter microbes, plants, and animals for our benefit • correct genetic defects in humans
Ex: Golden Rice • Created to provide people with Vitamin A • Developed to help the very poor
Ex: Flavr Savr Tomato • Created to prevent the softening of the tomato • Made more resistant to rotting • Could be “vine-ripened”
Ex: Glofish • Inserted fluorescent gene from a jellyfish into zebrafish • Sold as a pet
Ex: Roundup Ready Soybeans • Soybeans that are resistant to Roundup herbicide • Created to reduce the application of harmful herbicides
Bioethics Warm-Up Which human traits do you think are acceptable to genetically modify? Which human traits aren’t acceptable to genetically modify?
Bioethics Warm-Up Would you want to know if you were genetically predisposed to a certain disorder (like heart disease or diabetes)? What if it was for a disorder that has no known treatment?
Other Uses of Genetic Technology • Used to identify individuals: • Suspects in a crime (“DNA fingerprinting”)
Other Uses of Genetic Technology • Used to identify individuals: • Relation between individuals: • Ex: paternity tests
Other Uses of Genetic Technology • Used to identify individuals: • Relation between individuals: • Ex: University of Arizona Shoah Project to identify and reunite the families of Holocaust victims
DNA • DNA is universal – the genetic information from one species will work in another species • “DNA is DNA”
DNA 101 – Quick Refresher • DNA formed from units called nucleotides • Each nucleotide is made of: • 5 carbon sugar (deoxyribose) • Phosphate group • Nitrogenous base • Adenine • Guanine • Cytosine • Thymine
DNA 101 – Quick Refresher • In all DNA: • A pairs with T • C pairs with G • Weak hydrogen bonds form between complimentary base pairs
Bioethical Question • Should a company be allowed to patent (and own the exclusive rights of) a genetically modified organism?
Useful Properties of DNA • Restriction Endonuclease – enzymes used to cut apart DNA strands
Useful Properties of DNA • Restriction enzymes can cut DNA at specific sites, leaving “sticky ends” for insertion of new DNA • Ligase – enzyme used to “glue” strands together
Restriction Endonucleases • Also called restriction enzymes • 1962: “molecular scissors” discovered in in bacteria • E. coli bacteria have an enzymatic immune system that recognizes and destroys foreign DNA • 3,000 enzymes have been identified, many are purified and available commercially
Restriction Endonucleases • Named for bacterial genus, species, strain, and type • Example: EcoR1 • Genus: Escherichia Species: coli Strain: R Order discovered: 1
Restriction Endonuclease • Restriction enzymes recognize specific palindromic sequences and cut them • Palindromes: words that are the same forwards and backwards • Ex: Stanley Yelnats • Ex: Go hang a salami, I’m a lasagna hog • Ex: Anna • Ex: A man, a plan, a canal, Panama! • Ex: Wet sanitary rat in a stew.
Bioethical Issues • Should we be able to insert non-human DNA into human DNA? • Would this change what it means to be “human”? • Should humans be able to alter our intelligence via genetic engineering?
Warm-Up • If there aren’t any risks associated with GM foods, should companies be required to label foods made with GMOs?
Recombinant DNA • Recombinant DNA: DNA from two or more species that has been joined together • Transgenic: organisms altered by genetic engineering
Warm-Up • Genetic pollution: undesired and uncontrolled gene flow from GMOs into wild populations • What are the implications of “genetic pollution”? • Should we try to prevent “genetic pollution”?