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What do You Understand by Recombinant DNA Technology?

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Introduction

What do You Understand by Recombinant DNA Technology? Discuss the Moral, Ethical, Social, Economic and Environmental Issues Associated with the Technology, giving your views. There are two essential substances found inside bacterial cells required before the process can begin. Present in the cytoplasm of a bacterial cell are a number of small circular pieces of DNA known as plasmids. Also present within the bacterial cell are restriction enzymes which cut DNA molecules at specific sites. By selecting the correct restriction enzyme, DNA molecules from different organisms can be cut at predictable sites to extract specific genes from lengths of DNAi. The first task in the process is to isolate the required gene. This can be done in three different ways; working backwards from the protein, using messenger RNA, or using DNA probes. Once the gene has been isolated, the next step is to cut the gene from its DNA chain. This is done using the restriction enzymes (restriction endonucleases). Now we have the required gene the next stage is to insert it into a vector which will be used to produce the required protein. This is where the plasmids described earlier come in (this could also be done using a virus as a vector). The plasmid is cut using the same restriction enzyme as was used to cut the gene out. ...read more.

Middle

This would allow third world countries to reap much better yields of good quality crops, and allow them to vastly improve their economy. It is also hoped that the DNA responsible for the nitrogen fixing properties of bacteria could be introduced into crop plants, enabling them to fix atmospheric nitrogen and hence saving large amounts of money on fertilisersix. Another economic advantage could be found in altering the genes of oilseed rape. It may be possible to change the nature of the oils produced to make them more suitable for commercial processes. This could be used as a renewable source of oil when petroleum stocks run outx. Another issue is that GM food may allow famine to be eliminated from the world as poorer countries will be able to produce more food that is suited to harsh climates. However, small farmers in poor countries may not be able to benefit from the research and sale of patented genes. Farmers in the US are already growing rapeseed plants which have been altered to produce tropical oils on which the economies of the Philippines and Indonesia dependxi. The final factor I am going to consider is environmental issues concerning the technology, of which there are many. For example, if transgenic bacteria or viruses mutate, they may become new pathogens which we may not be able to controlxii. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think that if all these safety regulations were strictly implemented then any of the negative issues surrounding the use of recombinant DNA technology will be outweighed by the positives. i GCSE Biology second edition. Author: D.G. Mackean. P206 ii AQA Biology specification A, A new introduction to biology, Author: Inge, Rowland, Baker. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. P 160 iii GCSE Biology second edition. Author: D.G. Mackean. P206 iv GCSE Biology second edition. Author: D.G. Mackean. P206 v GCSE Biology second edition. Author: D.G. Mackean. P208 vi GCSE Biology second edition. Author: D.G. Mackean. P208 vii AQA Biology specification A, A new introduction to biology, Author: Inge, Rowland, Baker. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. P166 viii www.bio-integrity.org/overview.html ix Biology principles and processes, Author: Roberts, Reiss and Monger. Publisher: Nelson. P744 x GCSE Biology second edition. Author: D.G. Mackean. P208 xi biologist periodical. June 1999 volume 46. Number 3. xii AQA Biology specification A, A new introduction to biology, Author: Inge, Rowland, Baker. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. P166 xiii AQA Biology specification A, A new introduction to biology, Author: Inge, Rowland, Baker. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. P166 xiv AQA Biology specification A, A new introduction to biology, Author: Inge, Rowland, Baker. Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton. P166 xv GCSE Biology second edition. Author: D.G. Mackean. P208 xvi Biology principles and processes, Author: Roberts, Reiss and Monger. Publisher: Nelson. P744 xvii biologist periodical. June 1999 volume 46 number 3 xviii www.bio-integrity.org/overview.html ...read more.

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