Biotechnology Project By Brayden Troyer

Cloning

Clones are organisms that are exact genetic copies, similar to the process of binary fission. Clones can occur naturally or artificially through processes called artificial embry twinning and somatic cell nuclear nuclear transfer. Cloning is used in the medical field to make transgenic models of a certain animal that may carry a certain disease that can be studied by scientists.

There are ethical issues involved with cloning. Cloning embryos so that their stem cells can be used for therapeutic use is called therapeutic cloning. Therapeutic cloning is an ethical issue because the cloned embryo is cloned specifically to be destroyed. Issues also include quality of life for the clone and possible damage to the mother.

There are some advantages to cloning like organ replacement and being able to predict genetic characteristics, but still those ethical issues loom. Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT) is an example of technology used in the cloning process. The Human genome is at the center of the cloning proces in that what cloning is is a duplicating of a genome.

High Tech Genetics: Bioinformatics and Microarrays

Bioinformatics is the science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data such as genetic codes. Microarrays are a grid of DNA segments of known sequence that is used to test and map DNA fragments, antibodies, or proteins.

Genetically Modified organisms

GMO's occur when a gene from an organism is purposely tampered with. Modification through genetic engineering allows for optimizing agricultural performance and facilitating the production of valuable pharmaceutical substances. Crop plants, farm animals and soil bacteria are some of the organisms to undergo genetic engineering

Some posible ethical issues are that the effects on the environment are a concern. There is a possibility that GMO's could have a negative affect on human health as well. Allergies could become more prevalent, and there's always the danger of ingesting something that is completely new to our bodies. We don't know how it will respond

Stem Cell research: Adult vs Embryonic

Stem cells have 2 unigue characteristics from other cell types. First, they are u specialize de cells capable of renewing themselves through cell division, and they can be induced to become tissue or organ specific cells with special functions.

In speaking of cell-based regenerative therapies, the difference between adult and embryonic stem cells is that they both widely differ in the number and type of differentiated cells they have the ability to become. Adult stem cells are thought to be more limited than embryonic stem cells. Embryonic stem cell research has been met with opposition because it involves destroying a human embryo.

Gene Therapy and Genomic Medicine

Gene therapy is the transplantation of normal genes not cells in one of missing or defective ones in order to correct genetic disorders. Genomic Medicine is a way to customize medical care to your unique genetic makeup. gene therapy includes replacing a mutated gene that causes disease with the healthy copy of the gene, knocking out a mutated gene that isn't functioning properly, and introducing a new gene into the body to help fight disease. Nobody has exactly the same genes so genomic Medicine helps to personalize a persons treatment.ethical issues can be prevalent because gene therapy is making changes to the body's basic instructions

Designer babies and bioethics

Designer babies are babies whose genetic makeup has been pre-determined. It is basically using biotechnology to determine what kind of baby you want. Bioethics are the ethics of medical and biological research. All these topics I have discussed so far have a relation to bioethics. Not everybody would agree with the altering of an organism. Especially when that organism is a human being. In the case of designer babies, it does seem a little unethical. Maybe it could be jutsified if the altering of the genetics is to eliminate a disease but even then is it people decision to make? It's a valid debate

Epigenetics

Epigenetics is the study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself. It is a change in phenotype without their ever being a change in genotype. Epigenetics change occurs naturally and regularly. Epigenetics change however, is not always a good thing, it can cause diseases like cancer. The environment and individual lifestyle can cause the changes. Due to the fact that epigenetics is a natural occurrence, there isn't a lot of ethical problems with it.

DNA Fingerprinting and crime scene investigation

DNA fingerprinting is a laboratory technique used to establish a link between biological evidence and a suspect in a criminal investigation. Investigators are able to take DNA from a suspect and compare that DNA to the DNA from a crime scene to see if it's a match. DNA fingerprinting was invented in 1984 when a professor realized that he could detect variations in DNA based on a fingerprint.

The fact that it is almost impossible for any two people that aren't twins to have the same DNA fingerprint has allowed for the utilizations of their variations. A persons DNA fingerprint can be extracted from their blood. Ethical issues include the shared nature and ownership of genetic information, limitations of genetic testing, inaprpriafe applications of genetic testing, and the potential for discrimination.

Personal Ancestry and Paternity Kits

A Paternity kit is a procedure that a man can undergo to determine if they are the father of a child. The kit allows people to collect the samples for analysis at home. A sample must be taken from the potential father and the child. Due to the fact that the child will inherent genes from the father, the kit looks for gene matches between the two. Personal ancestry kits use DNA to determine a persons inheritence. However, these kits are not FDA approved and therefore may not be reliable

PCR and Gel Electrophoresis

PCR is a process that creates millions of copies of DNA. It is a form of direct cloning of DNA. PCR can produce a DNA fingerprinting pattern, and can be used in prenatal diagnosis of genetic diseases. It can also be used for evolutionary analysis, to look at genetic relationships among or within taxa. The size of a DNA fragment can be estimated by Gel Electrophoresis. Gel electrophoresis separates fragments by charge, size, and shape

Ethical concerns are not a big issue when talking about these subjects because it is mostly about obtaining genetic information. PCR is a fairly new but widely used technique. PCR can detect allelic sequence variation and and chromosomal rearrangements, and it is involved in the DNA sequencing process.

Plasmids, Recombinant DNA and Transgenic Organisms

Organisms that have altered genomes are known as transgenic organisms. Most transgenic organisms are generated in a lab for research purposes. Transgenic organisms are also generated for commercial purposes. Crops for example are genetically modified for pest and herbicide resistance. A plasmid is a small double-stranded DNA molecule that is distinct from cell's chromosomal DNA. Recombinant DNA is DNA created by artificially combing parts of 2 different organisms. Their are ethical questions about whether it is right to tamper with an organisms, but these processes have positives as I have stated.

Sources

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(Most of them)

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