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The Human Genome Project
Sets out to identify all of the genes in the
human chromosomes
To sequence the 3 billion base pairs which
make up the human DNA.…read more

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Links pharmaceutical expertise with knowledge of
the human genome.
It aims to:-
Tailor drugs to suit both individuals and certain ethnic groups
with susceptibilities to specific diseases
Target drugs to specific changes in proteins or genetic
Lower dosage of drug needed (currently based on
height/weight of patient).…read more

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Ethical issues
Identifying genes which affect the response of a certain drug is
difficult, time consuming and expensive.
What if the majority of the population can be treated well with one drug,
but more than one drug is needed for the rest of the population?
Is it ethical to leave people with certain genetic variations with no
treatment available?
Financial implications in training doctors and pharmacists to recognise
all the possible drug permutations, and keeping them up to date.
Everyone will need to have their genome analysed and stored, but there
are objections to its use in criminal investigations.…read more

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Drugs from GM organisms
Special marker genes are used to identify the
bacteria which contain the desired piece of
The markers can be characteristics such as
antibiotic resistance.
The bacteria identified can be cultured on a
large scale in industrial fermenters.
A risk of this is that the
bacteria can spread
their antibiotic
resistance into the
environment.…read more

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Insulin used to be sourced from the
pancreases of cattle, but it didn't
always work. Some immune
systems reacted to the foreign
antigen and the supply was
Microorganisms & human insulin
Downstream processing ­ the
microorganisms and the desired end
products have to be separated from the rest
of the mixture.
This produces two pure protein chains which
are then oxidised to join them together.
This way a constant, convenient source of the
hormone is provided.…read more

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