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Applied cell Biology: Genetic engineering

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Assessment 1: Applied cell Biology Module Title: Biology 1 Level: 0 GENETIC ENGINEERING MARILYN A.A. BOAKYE AGYEMAN UB: 04017028 1 Essay plan (GENETIC ENGINEERING) Paragraph 1 Introduction; Brief overview of topic (genetic engineering) * Definition of genetic engineering * Brief history of when genetic engineering started and who started it. : Brief description of structure of DNA * How it is used in genetic engineering mention of structure and * Genes. Paragraph 2 and 3 * Outline of the technique and the enzymes at each stage * (With pictures to further explain each of the 5 stages) Picture also shows some uses of genetic engineering. Paragraph 4 and 5 Current application of interest; include pictures if possible (BT corn) how and why it does this. * Explain how and how it is been done mention specific enzymes etc, if different from that mentioned above. * How it would benefit the community * Mention any problems/ limitations Ethical implication / potential risks Any developments in the news etc, Last paragraph: conclusion * Sum up ideas * The future of genetic engineering * New developments in the pipe line GENETIC ENGINEERING Within a short period of time, genetic engineering has turned into one of the biggest growth areas in scientific research .It appears regularly in the media although the general public have no idea the meaning. ...read more.


In this case a particular gene is required; in order to cut out this particular gene from the whole DNA we need precise tools. The enzyme restriction endonuclease acts like a pair of molecular scissors so that the required gene can be spliced out into a carrier molecule. The gene can then be cloned to get many copies of the required length of DNA.1 2 The third stage involves joining up the cut out gene into the carrier molecule (vector). In order for a foreign gene to be incorporated into a cell and to reproduce it must first be combined with a vector molecule. Two types of vectors are commonly used these are bacterial viruses or phages and plasmids. These vectors are capable of independent replication within the host cell unlike the foreign gene on its own. In order to make joining up of the genes easier with the vector molecule, it is first treated with the same restriction enzyme. This leaves the molecules with complementary sticky ends which can be joined together using the enzyme DNA ligase. The cut molecules are mixed under conditions which can favour the annealing of the complementary strands.2 The fourth stage involves the transformation of host cells. Once the DNA has been inserted into the vector, it becomes necessary to return the DNA into a living cell. ...read more.


It is also feared that inserting combinations of plant and animal genes that have never been part of human diets could cause unpredictable health risks. Genes can cross from the food we eat to stomach bacteria; this could lead to antibiotic -resistance rendering antibiotics ineffective.7 According to critics, the BT crop mainly benefits big biotechnology companies they develop crops resistant only to chemicals they manufacture, hence farmers have to purchase additional chemicals with the seeds. This would lead to poor farmers been forced out of business. Another area of contention concerns patents, according to the terms of patents farmers have to pay royalties to the big companies whenever a patented plant or animal produces offspring. This could lead to a few companies becoming very economically powerful.5 Activists argue that with genetically modified foods hunger in the world can still not be eliminated. They claim that hunger is not due to scarcity but rather the distribution of the supply of food. Others also believe that genetic engineering involves tampering with nature hence scientists are trying to play God.4 The future of genetics, like any other technology, offers great promise but also great peril. Nevertheless advances in genetic engineering will undoubtedly lead to the cure of genetic diseases. Scientists however are already working on the next giant step which is to replace defective genes with healthy ones by means of gene therapy. ...read more.

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