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NS 1300 Emergence of Modern Science Biotechnology
What is Life? • Replicating molecules • Synthia • Growing Organs
Genetic Engineering • Restriction Enzymes • Plasmids • Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO)
Polymerase Chain Reaction • PCR • PCR Multiplication • DNA Fingerprinting • Human genome project
Cloning • Stem Cells • Reproductive Cloning • Therapeutic Cloning
DNA Repair • Oxidants • antioxidants • Point mutations • Patrolling enzymes • Apoptosis (programmed cell death)
Cancer • Genetics • Environment • Stages In stage I, cancer cells can be distinguished from normal cells. The cancer cells are still localized (usually referred to as cancer in situ) and surgical removal of the tumor usually results in a cure. In stage II, tumor size is increased. The cancer cells may or may not have spread to the lymph nodes, and begun encroaching on nearby tissue. By stage III, the cancer cells have continued to grow and extend into the area around the tumor. In stage IV, tumors have spread to other parts of the body.
Drug Therapy • Drug Design • Biodiversity • A large number of medicines have their origin in plants or microorganisms. Quinine and penicillin arc two such examples which arc used extensively against some of the most dreadly diseases. With the advent of biotechnology, in future genes from many species will be utilized for a variety of purposes. But if the biodiversity is lost, these future possibilities will disappear.
Gene Therapy Open trial In an open trial, the researcher knows the full details of the treatment, and so does the patient. These trials are open to challenge for bias, and they do nothing to reduce the placebo effect. However, sometimes they are unavoidable, particularly in relation to surgical techniques, where it may not be possible or ethical to hide from the patient which treatment he or she received. Usually this kind of study design is used in bioequivalence studies. Blind trials Single-blind trial In a single-blind trial, the researcher knows the details of the treatment but the patient does not. Because the patient does not know which treatment is being administered (the new treatment or another treatment) there might be no placebo effect. In practice, since the researcher knows, it is possible for them to treat the patient differently or to subconsciously hint to the patient important treatment-related details, thus influencing the outcome of the study. Double-blind trial In a double-blind trial, one researcher allocates a series of numbers to 'new treatment' or 'old treatment'. The second researcher is told the numbers, but not what they have been allocated to. Since the second researcher does not know, they cannot possibly tell the patient, directly or otherwise, and cannot give in to patient pressure to give them the new treatment. In this system, there is also often a more realistic distribution of sexes and ages of patients. Therefore double-blind (or randomized) trials are preferred, as they tend to give the most accurate results. Triple-blind trial Some randomized controlled trials are considered triple-blinded, although the meaning of this may vary according to the exact study design. The most common meaning is that the subject, researcher and person administering the treatment (often a pharmacist) are blinded to what is being given. Alternately, it may mean that the patient, researcher and statistician are blinded. These additional precautions are often in place with the more commonly accepted term "double blind trials", and thus the term "triple-blinded" is infrequently used. However, it connotes an additional layer of security to prevent undue influence of study results by anyone directly involved with the study. • Clinical Trials
Bioethics Nanomedicine Parthenogenesis Patients' Bill of Rights Population control Procreative beneficence Procreative liberty Reproductive rights Sperm and eggs (donation) Stem cell research Transhumanism Artificial insemination Artificial life Body modification Chimeras Cloning Confidentiality (medical records) Gene therapy Genetically modified food Genomics Great Ape Project Human cloning Human genetic engineering Immortality Infertility (treatments)
Test Questions • PCR stands for the polymerase chain reaction. This technology allows us to copy DNA and isolate genes. This allows for DNA sequencing, the human genome project, and DNA fingerprinting. It has also lead to genetic engineering, genetically modified organisms, and gene therapies. These biotechnologies will get more sophisticated in the near future. • Cancer results from damage to genes that prevents apoptosis. This leads to uncontrolled cell growth. Many inherited and environmental factors can produce cancer. • Bioethics is the study of the ethical controversies brought about by advances in biology and medicine. This is a study that evaluates scientific discoveries and adapted technologies in light of social concerns and legal issues. • We must all participate in the consideration and application of bioethics, and we must be forward thinking.