• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Recombinant DNA technology used for insulin production

Extracts from this document...


It was not until 1921 that diabetes was assumed to have been caused by a malfunction in the digestive system which was known to be related to the pancreas gland, however it was discovered that the disease was caused by the deficiency of insulin. At first, scientists put effort in synthetically recreating the insulin protein by putting together the sequence of amino acids in a chemically; however, they struggled to produce it in high amounts. Therefore, the insulin hormone was obtained by purifying it from animals, primarily cattle and pigs. Nevertheless, it caused side effects on people ?such as skin rashes- because the insulin purified from animals didn?t exactly match with the human insulin there are one or three amino acids that differ human insulin from animal insulin. In 1978, with the help of biotechnology, the human insulin gene was inserted into bacterial DNA and used to produce the insulin in large amounts. ...read more.


Eco RI recognises the sequence ?GAATTC? on the forward strand and ?CTTAAG? on the parallel strand of the DNA, forming staggered cuts between the G (Guanine) and the A (Adenine) on both strands. Using PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction), the isolated human insulin gene is copied in order to allow a very large number of genes available to work with. For confirming the sizes (how many base pairs long the gene sequence is) of the insulin genes that were copied, a gel is run as Gel Electrophoresis is performed. The DNA ladder being used identifies the size of the insulin gene being 1430 base pairs long. (Genetic Home Reference, 2015) These staggered cuts leave sticky ends, which can form hydrogen bonds with the complementary sequence on the E.coli plasmids (circular DNA found in bacteria) which are also cut using the Eco RI restriction enzyme once it is removed from the bacteria cell. ...read more.


This step is called, Bacterial Transformation. Nutrient is given to the bacteria cell to maintain its function; to divide and live. Meanwhile they produce the human insulin, as the bacterial cells function and activate the human insulin gene. Therefore, as the bacteria cells grow and divide, the human insulin gene is passed down to the newly formed cells, allowing the insulin to produce furthermore. With the fermentation process, large quantities of bacteria are produced, and when it is reached to a sufficient amount, the bacteria containing the recombinant DNA are removed from the fermentation tanks in order to gather and purify the human insulin protein molecules the bacteria produce. The bacteria cells are destroyed once the process comes to an end. Nowadays, people with diabetes acquire human insulin from bacterial sources which is advantageously compatible with their own bodies, not at all different from the insulin produced naturally by humans. (778 words) ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Genetics, Evolution & Biodiversity essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    An Investigation into the Mitotic Nuclear Division of Allium Sativum Root Tip Cells, and ...

    5 star(s)

    of chromosomes at the centromere to form individual chromatids, and their assisted movement to the poles of the cell. These processes are more electrochemical in nature than biological, as this movement occurs due to the interactions of a "motor protein", kinesin, which utilises the charged nature of the microtubule to

  2. Investigating what effect varying the concentration of copper sulphate has on the enzyme Catalase ...

    copper (ii) sulphate. The reasons for using these concentrations are that they will provide a variety results from the enzymes activity and will hopefully show a trend when placed on a graph. For each concentration I will carry out the experiment 3 times as to eliminate any anonymous results by using the average of the 3 experiments.

  1. Management style, culture & organizational structure.

    produced directly when a gene is expressed, but they can also be non-protein products produced by genetically-engineered enzymes. The basic idea is to transfer a gene (often human) to another host organism (usually a microbe) so that it will make the gene product quickly, cheaply and ethically.

  2. Definitions of Recombinant DNA technology.

    If we look at the situation of someone who is about to have signs of a heart disease, where you will usually have to wait for signs to appear, with genetic engineering, you could stop it the sufferer from ever experiencing it.

  1. Research the use of recombinant DNA in the production of human insulin and two ...

    Factor VIII, also known as antihemophilic factor or AHF, is indicated for the treatment of patients suffering from hemophilia A, an inherited disorder in which the blood clotting protein Factor VIII is deficient or abnormal. Affected persons are unable to form blood clots normally and therefore risk serious and life-threatening bleeding episodes.

  2. Chromosomes and DNA

    This means that genes are in pairs. For example, you have two genes controlling eye colour. Different forms of the same gene are called alleles. The gene for eye colour has different forms, such as the allele for blue eye colour and the allele for brown eye colour.

  1. What do You Understand by Recombinant DNA Technology?

    The vectors then multiply and produce many genetically identical daughter cells which also produce the required protein. There are many different methods of genetic engineering, but the outcome is the same, DNA from one species is inserted into a different species and made to produce its normal proteinsiii.

  2. Recombinant DNA, genetically engineered DNA prepared in vitro by cutting up DNA molecules and ...

    Bit by bit, the polypeptide chain grows to the desired length, guided by the mRNA directions. At the end of the operation, the newly formed protein is kicked off the ribosome. The protein instantly folds up in the most stable way.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work