Gene technology and Genetic engineering OCR A2 Biology

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Biology F215
Gene Technology
Key Words
Key words Definition
Allotransplantation Transplantation of organs between individuals of the same species, for
example transplantation of a human heart into another human.
Comparative genome mapping The comparison of DNA sequences coding for the production of proteins and
regulatory sequences in the genomes of different organisms of different
Conjugation (in bacteria) Bacterial cells can join together and pass plasmid DNA from one bacterial cell
to another.
DNA ligase An enzyme capable of catalysing a condensation reaction between the
phosphate group of one nucleotide and the sugar group of another. This
results in DNA backbones being joined together.
DNA profiling (genetic The use of restriction enzymes to fragment DNA, followed by electrophoresis
fingerprinting) and use of DNA probes to give a characteristic banding pattern unique to each
Electrophoresis A method used to separate charged molecules e.g. DNA, protein in a mixture.
The molecules move through a stationary phase (gel) when a current is
applied and are separated according to size.
Gene A length of DNA that codes for one (or more) polypeptides or RNA.
Gene therapy In humans, any therapeutic technique where the functioning allele of a
particular gene is placed in the cells of an individual lacking functioning alleles
of that particular gene.
Gene silencing Techniques, including RNA interference and antisense RNA, that can prevent
expression of a gene
Genetic engineering Involves the transfer of a gene from one organism to another, often of a
different species, so that the inserted gene is expressed and confers a new
characteristic on the recipient.
Genetic markers Genes found on vectors e.g. plasmids that confer a particular characteristic on
the host organism that can be selected for e.g. antibiotic resistance.
Genome All the genetic information within an organism/cell.
Genome sequencing The technique used to give the base sequence of the entire DNA sequence of
a particular organism.
Genomics The study of the whole set of genetic information in the form of the DNA base
sequences that occur in the cells of organisms of a particular species.
Germ line gene therapy This involves placing a functional gene into embryonic cells.

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Golden RiceTM A variety of rice that is genetically engineered to produce large amounts of the
vitamin A precursor beta-carotene.
Intron A length of non-coding DNA found within a gene that is transcribed into mRNA
but spliced (cut) out before translation
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) Process for the amplification (making multiple copies) of a short section of
DNA. Requires a thermophilic DNA polymerase, DNA primers and activated
DNA nucleotides.…read more

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What is gene technology?
The term gene technology refers to the application of techniques that enable us to isolate and manipulate
sections of DNA
What are the techniques and applications of gene technology?
What is a genome?
The genome of an organism is the entire DNA sequence of that organism
o It consists of coding DNA which is used for the encoding of polypeptides and non-coding DNA which is
often referred to as "junk" DNA
What is genomics?
Genomics is the study of genomes
Why…read more

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By analysing the DNA of individuals of the same species we are able to see for example genes linked to a disease
or if they are a carrier for a mutant allele which can cause a genetic disease
o It also allows us to trace the migration of early humans
And finally it can be used to develop medical treatments for particular genotypes
Why can comparing genome sequence of individuals of different species be beneficial?
By analysing the DNA of individuals of different species we…read more

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Assemble all the BAC sequences using a computer program
that compares the overlapping regions
Put the following into the correct order for the sequencing of a genome
What are the regulatory functions of non-coding DNA?
Non coding DNA may encode for short antisense RNAs
that are able to bind to a mRNA, blocking its translation
o Or they may encode for the formation of siRNAs
(small interfering RNA) which target a mRNA for
Within a cell, the double stranded RNAs
(either transcribed from a…read more

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They plan to use siRNA as a drug to silence these genes and prevent their expression and stop the
tumour from growing
Why are silent genes important in cellular division?
Differentiation of cells requires some genes to be switched on and others for the alternative pathways of
development to be switched off
o This is one possible mechanism of switching genes off
What are restriction enzymes?
The DNA can be cut into fragments using restriction enzymes which are able to recognise a specific DNA
sequence…read more

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This movement is due to solubility in a solvent or a pd across the
What is the DNA binding dye required for?
The DNA binding dye is used to reveal the positions of the DNA bands
o As well as allowing the gel and the final positions of the DNA
bands to be photographed
Why might the dye ethidium bromide also be a mutagen?
When the dye is inserting between the nucleotide bases, the ethidium
bromide deforms the DNA molecule
o This then makes…read more

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The gel is then blotted and probed for the short tandem repeat (STR)
o Up to eight STR's are examined for and this produces a unique profile or DNA
fingerprint that can be compared with the sequence of other individuals
How can DNA profiling be used to determine the paternity of a child?
Firstly the DNA must be extracted from child, mother and from the potential fathers
o The different samples of DNA are then cut with restriction enzymes
Placed into a tank of agarose…read more

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What is the Polymerase Chain Reaction?
PCR is a technique that can be used to
increase (amplify) the number of copies
of a DNA fragment
o It is a type of `artificial DNA
It relies on separation
of the DNA strands
Each strand
acts as the
template for
the synthesis
of a new DNA
strand by DNA
o It uses incoming
nucleotides that bind
via complementary
base pairing
In the first stage when the DNA strands separate the
temperature has to be 95C…read more

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What are the comparisons between DNA replication and PCR?
Both of these processes rely on the separation of two
strands of DNA
o In both processes complementary base
pairing rules are used for the formation of the
new strand between the incoming nucleotide
and the single template strand
Finally both processes use the
enzyme DNA polymerase to extend a
primer and cause the synthesis of a
new DNA strand in a 5' to 3' direction
What are the differences between DNA replication and PCR?
In…read more


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