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AS and A Level: Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity

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  1. The Human Genome project

    The Human Genome Project aims to: * Determine the sequence of the four bases (adenine, cytosine, thymine and guanine) throughout all the DNA in human cells; * Identify the estimated 100 000 genes formed by the bases; * Find the locations of the genes on the 23 human chromosomes; * Store all this information on databases for future research; * Consider all the ethical, legal and social issues which arise from obtaining information about the human genome. DNA underlies almost every aspect of human health, both in function and dysfunction. Obtaining a detailed picture of how genes and other DNA sequences function together and interact with environmental factors ultimately will lead to the discovery of pathways involved in normal processes and in disease pathogenesis.

    • Word count: 860
  2. The use of recombinant DNA technology can only benefit humans

    So the location of the DNA probe is known, it is labelled with a radioactive fluorescent marker. The aim is for the probe to attach to its complementary base sequence within DNA extracted from human cells. Secondly the gene has to be cut from its DNA chain. Controlling this process are many restriction endonucleases (restriction enzymes). Each of these enzymes cut DNA at a different base sequence called a recognition sequence. The recognition sequence is 6 base pairs long. The restriction enzymes PstI cuts DNA horizontally and vertically to produce sticky ends. The restriction enzymes SmaI cuts DNA vertically.

    • Word count: 999
  3. Genetically Modified Foods

    Examples of traits that are modified are increased resistance to herbicides, and improved nutritional content. The method that is used to enhance the traits of the plants is called breeding, but scientists have found that breeding is very time consuming and not very accurate. So instead of scientists using breeding they use a method known as genetic engineering, which can create plants with desired a lot faster and with more accuracy. An example of genetic engineering in plants is, a scientist can take a gene from a crop that has drought tolerance and put that gene into another plant to give the plant more drought tolerance.

    • Word count: 874
  4. Genetic Engineering in agriculture

    Genetic modification is used to grow crops in some parts of the world. Genetic modification (GM) involves copying the genes which govern a particular characteristic from one organism and transferring them to another organism. An example of a GM crop is Soya. The Soya is genetically modified so that it is tolerant to the herbicide glyphosate [4]. This would reduce the usage of insecticides and herbicides therefore less money is spent by the farmers and the condition of the crops would be better. How is it done? Genetic engineering works by physically removing a gene from one organism and inserting it into another organism giving it the ability to express the trait encoded by that gene.

    • Word count: 972
  5. Comparing Mitosis and Meiosis with reference to i. Chromosomesii. Biological significance

    Prophase In the Mitosis Prophase the chromosomes become visible. Chromosomes are long thread like structures between 0.25 ?m and 50 ?m long. Each chromosome is made up of two chromatids joined at a point called the centromere. They are made of 70% protein, 15% DNA and 10% RNA and are not visible in a non-dividing cell until the onset of cell division. The chromosomes first become visible as long tangled treads, which gradually shorten and widen. The centrioles migrate to opposite ends of poles of the cell.

    • Word count: 1223
  6. Genetic Engineering

    The gene is then copied and folded and transferred to another organism. Genetic modification has gone on for years through traditional plant and animal breeding techniques. Genetic engineering allows the transfer of a gene from any source (transgenic manipulations). This creates safety, environmental, social moral and ethical concerns for many people. According to Ron Epstein 2 most of genetic engineering happens in the agricultural sector. Plants are genetically engineered to be resistant to herbicides and to have built in pesticide resistance. Many enzymes used in the food industry, including rennet used in cheese production, are also available in genetically engineered form and are in widespread use.

    • Word count: 1282
  7. Biology Coursework Essay

    The symptoms can, however, be cured by inserting copies of a gene coding for the enzyme adenosine deaminase (ADA) into their blood cells. There are, however, many dangers arising from the release of genetically engineered organisms. The bacterium which is used in any genetic engineering experiments is E.coli which lives naturally in the human intestine. A modified strain of this bacteria could cause serious damage if it entered a human body. Additionally, as bacteria are able to exchange genetic material with other species of bacteria, a strain of bacteria presently controlled by antibiotics, could become resistant and therefore extremely dangerous.

    • Word count: 1628
  8. Discuss the role of Genetics in modern society

    Thus, meaning an almost infinite number of combinations. As our genes allow every person to have their own DNA code, a definite match of DNA would mean that person could without doubt be linked to the scene. All that is needed to extract DNA is one cell - a speck of blood, a swab of saliva or a miniscule fragment of skin that clings to a strand of hair! Jack Straw is said to putting plans forward to enforce any criminal to keep their genetic material on a national database with purpose of cross matching with unsolved crimes.

    • Word count: 1280
  9. R.E. Medicine Coursework

    During egg donations and IVF women are given powerful drugs, which induce multiple ovulation and this usually has serious side effects. These eggs are collected in a fine tube and then fertilised using IVF treatment. IVF is when the egg cells and sperm cells are put together in a small dish. When the egg is fertilised it is kept in ideal conditions for a few days while it is incubated the egg multiplies 8 times (blast cyst). These are then injected in to the women's womb.

    • Word count: 1593
  10. Mendel: Extra Biology Credit

    When I breed the F1 generation I ended up with the F2 generation. For the F1 generation I selected a six foot pea plant and a short pea plant and crossed them. In the F1 generation I noticed that all the offspring were tall and didin't even show short. In the F2 generation I crossed 2 tall pea plants and noticed that 3/4 of the offsprings were as tall as the tall plants in the P generation.

    • Word count: 436
  11. Biological causes of abnormality

    German neurologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing found that it was caused by the syphilis bacterium. Micro-organisms have also been suggested as a cause of schizophrenia. Genetic factors Some people may inherit illnesses which have been carries on through genes passed down through generations.

    • Word count: 308
  12. The Human Genome Project: The Debate

    The project will help us to know exactly which sections of DNA, on which chromosome, are responsible for the many inherited diseases from which people can suffer. Once the sequence of bases in a gene is known it is possible to devise a reliable test to see if it is present. This is known as genetic testing. The advantages of genetic testing are that it can detect illness and problems in new born babies and alongside the advances of medical technology, can help treat them.

    • Word count: 1184
  13. Cloning and the law in Britain

    After looking at lots of for and against arguments I was left with a lot of conflicting emotions. If you were to reproduce a dead child how would the clone feel knowing that it had been born as a replacement? Or imagine a clone being created in your partner's image. What would the implications be when the clone reached the age that your partner was when you met them. Even though you had brought that clone up as your child you could have a sexual relationship with it because technically it is your partner's twin. This could be where the human was turned into an expendable product.

    • Word count: 795

    Most restriction enzymes make a staggered cut in the two strands, forming sticky ends. The cut ends are "sticky" because they have short stretches of single-stranded DNA. These sticky ends will stick (or anneal) to another piece of DNA by complementary base pairing, but only if they have both been cut with the same restriction enzyme. Restriction enzymes are highly specific, and will only cut DNA at specific base sequences, 4-8 base pairs long.Restriction enzymes are produced naturally by bacteria as a defence against viruses (they "restrict" viral growth), but they are enormously useful in genetic engineering for cutting DNA at precise places ("molecular scissors").

    • Word count: 6774
  15. The benefits and criticisms of the human genome project

    The particular order of As, Ts, Cs, and Gs is extremely important. The order underlies all of life's diversity, even dictating whether an organism is human or another species such as yeast, rice, or fruit fly, all of which have their own genomes and are themselves the focus of genome projects. Because all organisms are related through similarities in DNA sequences, insights gained from nonhuman genomes often lead to new knowledge about human biology. One of the key research areas in the Human Genome Project was Chromosome Mapping. Mapping is the construction of a series of chromosome descriptions that depict the position and spacing of unique, identifiable biochemical landmarks, including some genes that occur on the DNA of chromosomes.

    • Word count: 918
  16. Do you think that designer babies would be improving on Nature? - Discuss

    If we left any loopholes in the use of the technology, it would be exploited and then it would be no time before we ended up having mass human genetic engineering laboratories, like those in "Brave New World" by Aldus Huxley or failed experiments such as Frankenstein in Mary Shelly's novel of the same name. However, as we delved deeper into research we came across the story of Zain Hasmi, a young boy of 2, who was diagnosed with Thalassaemia and was expected to die in his early teens.

    • Word count: 1881
  17. Westlakes Science Park- Genetics Department Visit

    Westlakes genetics department studies damages in workers exposed to radiation at work for BNFL. It has examined blood samples, blood lymphocytes or white blood cells from workers at Sellafield for many years. The blood samples are taken and placed in a culture medium and cultured for 48 hours at 37oC in a 5% carbon dioxide incubator. Cells that are in metaphase are taken and slides prepared for microscope analysis. Staining techniques are applied to the samples to determine the number of chromosome aberrations.

    • Word count: 1197
  18. "Only god has the right to interfere with our genes"

    In my essay I am going to consider whether man should have the power of god to do this, I will look at the opinions and beliefs of 2 religions and my own personal opinion. The 2 religions will be looking at are Christianity and Islam. Christians agree that only god should have the right to manipulate our genes and characteristics because 'it is wrong to try to make the earth perfect, only heaven is perfect'. The teaching they would use to support this is that Christians believe that genetic engineering is interfering with gods plan and that scientists don't have the knowledge or wisdom that god possesses, so they aren't 'qualified' enough to attempt such delicate work.

    • Word count: 891
  19. Nature vs. Nurture - The Human Genome Project

    In favor the Human Genome Project Those who vie in favor of the HGP argue that the completion of the project not only allows an entirely new approach to biological research, but promises to revolutionize the wider spectrum of clinical medicine and presents a host of opportunities for the U.S. industry in terms of sales in DNA-based products and technologies. In addition, the detailed maps of genomes have assisted researchers in seeking genes associated with dozens of genetic conditions, including myotonic dystrophy, fragile X syndrome, neurofibromatosis types 1 and 2, inherited colon cancer, Alzheimer's disease, and familial breast cancer (HGPI).

    • Word count: 1040
  20. Do genes govern our behaviour?

    Yet it will tell us few of the things claimed by its backers. What Are genes!? Genes are chemicals in every cell in the human body, and of every living thing. They are made of four chemicals, which are linked, together in long chains in various combinations. The idea of the Human Genome Project was to map the entire sequence of these chemicals. This "genome" would be the "blueprint for life", and open the door to explaining human biology and behaviour, and herald miracle cures to disease. The whole notion is deeply flawed.

    • Word count: 619
  21. Explain the term "genetic engineering". Using three different examples of the application of this technique, assess its advantages and disadvantages.

    In other words, genetic engineering occurs when genes from one organism are transferred to the complement of genes of another unrelated organism. This process actually is to re-arrange the sequence of DNA in gene by using artificial methods. In early 1990s, scientists attempted to apply genetic engineering in improving the breed of foods especially vegetables. After that, they found genes could be transferred to another unrelated organism. So they tried to reshuffle more genes that from more other organisms. For example, they once inserted gene which was from a human into the organism of a mouse leaded to the growth of the mouse was larger than mice not treated with the genetically engineered.

    • Word count: 1952
  22. Is Biological Control Better than Chemical Control?

    A predator or a parasite of the pest is usually used in this case. There are many different ways in which the predator attacks its prey. For example, a small insect the whitefly causes damage to greenhouse crops such as tomatoes and cucumbers. To control this, a parasitic wasp can be introduced into the greenhouse. It lays its eggs in the fly larvae, which is then eaten up by the wasp larvae. Ladybirds on the other hand use their prey as a food source, for example the scale insect which damage and kill citrus fruit trees.

    • Word count: 2191
  23. The Human Genome Project.

    This is because they can raise life insurance payments due to whether or not the gene has a defect. People who may have a different or faulty gene may be penalised for this and their life insurance payments will be raised to accommodate this. However, the gene may have been interpreted wrongly and then extra money is being obtained for no reason. It is against people's human rights to be treated differently due to the map of their genes. Employers should only have access to the information if the employee gives permission.

    • Word count: 792
  24. The pro's and con's of genetic engineering.

    Another term that is associated with genetic engineering is cloning, this means using genetic engineering techniques to produce genetically identical organisms. Up until now genetic engineering and cloning has been used to clone plants, unicellular organisms, amphibians and simple mammals. This has led to significant advances in agriculture, industry, and medicine. Newer techniques in genetic engineering have enabled scientists to clone more complex mammals and opened up the possibility of cloning humans. Although there are many potential benefits to this technology, the prospect of cloning humans has raised many practical, ethical and religious dilemmas that are currently being debated by society.

    • Word count: 875
  25. Cancer is a disease in which cells grow out of control and invade, erode, and destroy normal tissue.

    One in three people will be diagnosed with cancer during their lifetime. However most cancers mainly affect older people. Therefore as the average life expectancy in the United Kingdom has almost doubled, the risk of cancer has grown. It is estimated that a third of all cancers are caused by smoking and another third is caused by the diet people choose. These are over two hundred different types of cancer, and all have different causes, different symptoms and require different types of treatment.

    • Word count: 787

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