Biotechnology F215 Biology

Biotechnology - Immobilised Enzymes, Genetic Engineering, PCR.

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  • Created on: 14-06-14 11:16
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Is the use of organisms e.g. microbes, enzymes in biochemical processes to
generate useful products such as food e.g. yoghurt, cheese
microbes/enzymes e.g. Lactobacillus, yeast drugs e.g. Penicillin, insulin etc.
Why use Microbes?
Grow rapidly, so more products are made.
Microbes can be genetically engineered to produce specific products e.g. E.coli
can be modified to produce human insulin.
Processes can occur in low temperatures therefore it is cheaper, safer etc.
Products are easy to separate.
They can grow in unwanted culture e.g. starch waste.
Immobilised Enzymes
Absorption ­ Enzymes are mixed with immobilising support e.g. alginate bead,
clay etc.
Covalent Bonding ­ Enzymes can be covalently bonded to others, holding them
in place.
Entrapment ­ Enzymes are encapsulated in collagen, cellulose etc.
Membrane Separation ­ Enzymes are separated from the substrate by a
partially permeable membrane.
Benefits of Immobilised Enzymes
Reduced downstream processing costs as they are not present in the
They can work in higher temperatures so reaction can be faster thus leading
to a higher yield.
Product is uncontaminated.
Enzyme can be reused so reduces costs.
Can work in changes of pH.
Drawbacks of Immobilised Enzymes
Any contamination is hard to deal with.
Additional time and equipment is needed.
It's expensive to set up.
The enzymes are less active because they don't mix freely with the substrate.
Genetic Engineering
1. Obtaining Gene e.g. using DNA probe etc.
2. Gene in Vector ­ sealed into bacterial plasmids, viral DNA etc.
3. Gene into Recipient Cell:

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ELECTROPORATION ­ High voltage pulses applied to disrupt the
MICROINJECTION ­ DNA is injected into the host's cell.
VIRAL TRANSFER ­ Vector infects recipient cell by inserting DNA directly.
T. PLASMIDS ­ Can be inserted into soil bacterium Agrobacterium
tumefaciens. This infects plants which inserts DNA into plant genome.
LIPOSOMES ­ DNA is wrapped around in lipid molecules which are
fatsoluble so it can diffuse through the lipid membrane.
Insulin Production
1. Identify the Insulin gene.
2.…read more

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Treat some types of Cancer e.g. Leukaemia
Treat/Cure Alzheimer's Disease
Treat/Cure Parkinson's Disease
Treat Multiple Sclerosis
Ethical Objections to Embryonic Stem Cells
Religious objections.
Embryo is a potential human therefore they have a right to life.
The cell may be from an aborted embryo.
Parents may not know the fate of their dead child.
May involve cloning.
Arguments against Genetic Screening
People may not want to know.
Many diseases have no treatments.
Discrimination by employers, banks etc.…read more


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