Genetic engineering & biotechnology

  • Created by: i3lena
  • Created on: 26-03-14 08:20

The Human Genome Project

  • Doctors know exactly where to look if they think an individual is a carrier of an autosomal disease
  • Production of new medication
    • find benificial molecules naturally produced in healthy humans
    • discover which gene controls the synthesis of a desired molecule
    • copy that gene and use it as instructions to synthesize the molecule in a lab
    • distribute the molecule as medical treatment to people who lack it
  • By comparing the genetic make up of populations around the world, countless details could be revealed about ancestries and how humans have migrated and mixed their genes with other populations over time. 
1 of 5

Gene transfer

  • Cutting & Pasing DNA
    • Endonuclease finds and recognises a specific sequence of base pairs along the DNA and cuts the gene
    • The gene is released and can be removed
    • DNA ligase recognises the base pairs on the sticky ends and pastes a new gene in the right spot
  • Copying DNA
    • A plasmid is removed from the host cell and cut open by a restriciton endonuclease 
    • The gene to be copied is placed inside the plasmid usind DNA ligase
    • The plasmid is placed inside a bacterium and the bacterium is given ideal conditions to grow and replicate (bioreactor) 
2 of 5

Genetically modified organisms

  • Transgenic plants
    • The 'Flavr Savr' romato had been genetically modified to delay the ripening and rotting process so that it would stay fresh loger 
      • The project was abandoned due to money loss
    • A tomoatoe genetically modified to make it more tollerant to higher levels of salt
  • Transgenic animals
    • Production of substances that can be used for medical treatment
    • Haemophilia: if a gene which codes for the production of factor XI is associated with the genetic information for milk production in a female sheep, she will produce that protein in her milk
3 of 5


  • Reproductive cloning
    • A somatic cell from the original sheep to be cloned is cultured
    • An unfertilized egg cell from another sheep is collected and its nucleus is removed 
    • The nucleus from the somatic cell is harvested and placed in the egg cell using electrical current
    • The newly formed cell develops into an embryo and it is placed into a surrogate mother
  • Terapeutic cloning 
    • the cloning of stem cells
    • growing tissue to repair skin, heart, kidney
    • it is unethical to produce an embryo for the sole purpose of harvesting stem cells
4 of 5

Pros & Cons

  • Pros
    • Improving food production
    • Benifitial to enviornment because fewerchemical pesticides will be needed
    • Producing rare proteins for medications or vaccines could be less costly in the long run
    • Could solve world hunger
  • Cons
    • The long-term effects in the wild are unknown 
      • polen from GM plants has escaped to neigh bouring fields
    • Genes could cross species 
    • Allergies: there is no physicall difference between normal tomatoes and GM tomatoes
    • Dicrease in biodiversity 
5 of 5


No comments have yet been made

Similar Biology resources:

See all Biology resources »See all Chapter 4 resources »