Genetic Technologies - key words/phrases

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  • Genetic Technologies - Key words
    • Cloning
      • A group of genetically identical organisms formed from a single parent as a result of asexual reproduction of artificial means
    • Clone
      • The copied material, which has the same genetic make-up as the original
    • Asexual reproduction
      • Involves only one organism and the individuals produced are genetically identical i.e a clone
    • Somatic cell
      • Any cell in the body other than the two types of reproductive cells, sperm and egg. Two complete sets of chromosomes
    • Tissue culture
      • Growth of tissues and/or cells separate from the organism. Produces clones, in which all product cells have the same genotype to have cells with the desirable characteristics
    • Totipotency
      • Cells taken from the growing region of a plant (meristems) have the ability to differentiate into any type of cell
    • Stem Cells
      • Undifferentiated cells which are capable of dividing to give rise to cells which are specialized
    • Totipotent cells
      • Stem cells that have total potency, which means that they have the ability to form an entire mature organism
    • Multipotent cells
      • Stem cell that can only differentiate into a limited number of types
    • Therapeutic cloning
      • Involves creating a cloned embryo for the sole purpose of producing embryonic stem cells with the same DNA as the donor cell.
    • Human-Genome
      • All the DNA sequences contained in the chromosomes of an organism
    • Carrier screening
      • Involves identifying unaffected individuals who carry one copy of a gene for a disease that requires two copies for the disease to be expressed e.g. cystic fibrosis
    • Pre-symptomatic testing
      • For predicting adult-onset disorders such as Huntington's disease
    • Gene therapy
      • Inserting a normal gene/DNA sequence to replace the defective/faulty gene
    • Somatic Cell Therapy
      • Target cells in affected tissues - genetic changes are not inherited
    • Germ line therapy
      • Introduction of corrective genes into germ-line cells, that is, the gene is replaced in the egg and will enable genetic corrections to be inherited
    • Carrier molecule
      • (vector) must be used to deliver the therapeutic gene to the patient's target cells
    • Transgenic Organism
      • genetically modified organism
    • Genetic Engineering
      • Involves altering, replacing or transferring genes from one organism to another for some specific purpose
    • Restriction enzymes
      • Restriction endonucleases are enzymes that cut DNA at a specific nucleotide sequence into smaller segments
    • DNA Ligase
      • Joins/anneals sections of DNA together/ splices genes together
    • Reverse Transcriptase
      • Enzyme which uses RNA as a template for making a DNA molecule. Requires DNA nucleotides and enzymes reverse transcriptases
    • Marker gene
      • Gene which enables the detection of a bacterium which has taken up a genetically modified plasmid
    • Re-combinant DNA technology
      • Describes how new combinations of genetic materials are produced by artificially copying a piece of DNA from one organism (the donor) and joining (or recombining) the copy with the circular DNA (plasmid) in a bacterium (the host)
    • Sticky ends
      • Unpaired bases. Complimentary to each other
    • Genetically modified organisms
      • An organism that had its genotype altered producing new organism is called a transgenic/gm organism
    • Polymerase chain reaction
      • Method getting multiple copies of DNA by generating multiple copies using DNA polymerase enzymes under controlled conditions


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