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The advantages and disadvantages of bacteria

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The advantages and disadvantages of bacteria The advantages of bacteria for genetic Engineering are firstly economic- they contain a valuable source of enyzmes Bacteria produce more enzyme molecules in relation to their mass than most other organisms. The product yield can be increased by means of strain selection, mutation and optimisation of growth conditions. They are easy to manipulate genetically and can be subjected to gene transfer techniques. Secondly there is an environmental/economic advantage of bacteria- they can occupy a great variety of habitats and extremes of conditions, so their enzymes function in an enourmous range of PH and temperature. ("A New Introduction to Biology") Environmentally the bacteria used in genetic engineering chosen do not produce toxins or offensive odours and are non-pathogenic. ...read more.


By inhibiting Streptococcus mutans that convertsugar to lactic acid and slowly etch away the enamel on teeth. (http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99991941) The technicalogical applications of bacteria are advantageous. The enzymes contained in different bacteria can be used in the dairy industry- extracellular lipase is used to ripen blue chesses from mould e.g Penicillum roguefortii. The production of cheese by separating milk into curd and whey may be achieved by the addition to the milk of the enzyme rennet or by the addition of a bacterial culture. Also In the ripening process, micro-organisms, most commonly lactic-acid-producing bacteria, act on the cheese to produce the desired body and flavour. (The Oxford Interactive Encyclopedia) ...read more.


Many people especially on the grounds of religion think it is immoral to "play God" by the use of modified bacteria. (http://www.biology-online.org/2/13_genetic_engineering.htm). The enzymes in the bacteria are highly sensitive to changes in the physical and chemical environment surrounding them- environmental disadvantage. They may be denatured by even a small temperature rise and change in pH. This means that the conditions in which they work must be stringently controlled. In particular the enzyme-substrate mixture must not be contaminated with other substances that might affect the reaction so the equipment used must be scrupulously clean- this is time consuming, so an economic disadvantage. In conclusion it seems that bacteria have more advantages than disadvantages and they may well lead to positive developments in the future. ...read more.

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