Biotechnology Georgia Spann

Cloning

Cloning is the process that produces a copy of an organism.

How Is It Done?

A biologist, or some type of genetic scientist, takes an egg cell from the organism they wish to clone. They then take the DNA from the cell, and implant it into a surrogate carrier's egg cell to carry it to full term. Once the surrogate carrier has given birth, the clone is produced and the process is finished.

Is Cloning Used Today?

Yes, cloning has been used many times, and is in place today, but a successful clone of a human has not been produced, but clones of other animals has been successfully produced.

Ethical Issues...

There are many ethical issues with cloning, including health risks to the mother, genetic damage to the clone, very low success rate (meaning loss of large numbers of embryos and fetuses), psychological harm to the clone, and the clone not being able to feel for family or loved ones.

Pros & Cons...

Pros: Parents with no eggs and sperm can create children that are genetically related. Same sex couples can have children without the use of donor sperm or donor eggs. The men would only require a surrogate to carry the clone until birth. Parents that have lost a child can have that child returned to them with a clone. Endangered animals can be cloned to save the species (blog.udemy.com).
Cons: Cloning children could foster an understanding that children can be designed and replicated to the parents’ wishes. There would be a lack of uniqueness and violate convictions regarding human individuality and freedom. Clones could be seen as less than human compared with non-clones. Children created by cloning would live in the shadow of the genetic donor, always having to live up to the expectations of a person they were created from. Imagine discovering that you are the clone of a child your parents lost, and you live your life always being compared to the dead child. 95% of animal cloning has ended in failure due to genetic defects, and cloning is considered unsafe because of it. Many believe that cloning is against God’s wishes because the clones would be created by man. Man would be playing God and create people that are unable to feel and empathize. There is also the belief that these clones would be created without a soul (blog.udemy.com).

How is Technology Used in Cloning?

  • Extremely detailed Microscopes
  • Linear Cloning Vector
  • Advanced computer systems

How Is Knowing the Human Genome Helpful?

It is helpful so they can replicate the Human Genome for the cloned organism.

Did You Know?

It cost about $20,000 to clone a cow.

High Tech Genetics: Bioinformatics & Microarrays

  • Bioinformatics: The science of collecting and analyzing complex biological data such as genetic codes
  • Microarray: A grid of DNA segments of known sequences that is used to test and map DNA fragments, antibodies, or proteins.

How Is It Done?

  • Bioinformatics: In experimental molecular biology, bioinformatics techniques such as image and signal processing allow extraction of useful results, such as DNA, from large amounts of data. In the field of genetics and genomics, it aids in sequencing and noting genomes and their known mutations. Also to find similar sequences in DNA between two different species.
  • Microarray: The main principle involving microarrays, is the hybridization of two DNA strands, the property of similar nucleic acid sequences to pair with one another to form hydrogen bonds between similar nucleotide base pairs. Also used to find active and inactive genes in a persons DNA to find mutations.

Is High Tech Genetics Used Today?

  • Bioinformatics: Yes, it is used today, but not often.
  • Microarray: Yes, it is used today, but not often.

Ethical Issues...

  • Bioinformatics: Insurance companies may not cover a person because of their chances of having a disease or mutation, and banks may refuse loans to someone if they have access to genetic data.
  • Microarray: Insurance companies may not cover a person because of their chances of having a disease or mutation, and banks may refuse loans to someone if they have access to genetic data.

Pros & Cons

Bioinformatics & Microarrays:

  • Pros:
  • A person with a 50% chance of developing Type 2 diabetes when they're 30 years old will be able to live a lifestyle up until then preventing that disorder.
  • It would help people be ready to develop their disorder or disease Knowing ahead of time.
  • Cons:
  • It is a new field and inaccessible for many life science researchers.
  • People could deny people rights or insurance or anything depending on their chances of developing a disorder.

How is Technology Used in High Tech Genetics?

High tech computers are used in bioinformatics and microarray to find sequences in DNA strands.

Genetically Modified Organisms: GMO's

An organism that has had its DNA altered or modified in some way through genetic engineering.

How Is It Done?

Scientists use engineering to help prevent foods from going bad or being affected by outer world sources.

Are GMO's Used Today?

Yes, GMO's are used in a vast majority of foods and products involving plants.

Ethical Issues...

Some ethical issues include what the genetic alterations do to the human body and how much it is altered from the original, non-GMO food.

Pros & Cons...

  • Pros:
  • Helps food last longer by being genetically modified.
  • Helps farmers save money by not having tot throw out the bad foods.
  • Cons:
  • Unknown what the modifications do to the human body.
  • Could be harming us without knowing it.
  • Companies aren't required to tell the consumer whether or not it contains GMO's or if it has been genetically modified in some type of way.

How is Technology Used in GMO's?

Engineers, scientists, food producers, and many other people research and find ways to change the genetic makeup of a food, using microscopes, computers, and multiple chemicals and scientific matter to add to the food.

Stem Cell Research: Adult VS Embryonic

Research of human cells to help discover cures for health issues.

How Is It Done?

Embryonic & Adult: Stem Cell Research is used to help find out mutations and scientific studies with DNA and the Human Genome.

Is Stem Cell Research Used Today?

Yes, although, there are many conflictions with some people's believed with stem cell research.

Ethical Issues...

Some ethical issues with Stem Cell Research include people's religious beliefs, and the fact that it's a human being inside the living cell, and that they should be able to be saved forever, even if it's in liquid nitrogen for years.

Pros & Cons...

Pros:

  • Finding solutions to diseases, disorders, or mutations in human DNA.
  • Helping to study DNA and find out new tests for humans.
  • In recent years, it has helped in treatment for bone marrow transplants and multiple other diseases and health issues.

Cons:

  • The eggs are human eggs, and people will always be against it
  • Some people consider it similar to abortion and won't agree with it.
  • It is considered wasting human DNA and human egg cells.

How is Technology Used in Stem Cell Research?

Computers, microscopes, probes, inhibitor differentiation method, and suspension technology.

Did You Know?

Stem cell researchers have discovered that it is very likely they could cure Type 1 Diabetes with injecting stem cells into the pancreas.

Gene Therapy & Genomic Medicine

  • Gene Therapy: The transplantation of normal genes into cells in place of missing or defective ones in order to cure genetic disorders, diseases, mutations, and other health issues.
  • Genomic Medicine: A form of medical technology used to customize medical care to a specific person's body's unique genetic makeup.

How Is It Done?

  • Gene Therapy: Genetic scientists replace a mutated gene that causes disease with a healthy and normal version of the gene.
  • Genomic Medicine: Genetic scientists or doctors take the patients DNA and customize the medicine according to their DNA and genetic makeup.

Is Gene Therapy & Genomic Medicine Used Today?

Yes, both of them are used today, just not very often.

Ethical Issues...

Some people consider it "unfair" to alter a persons DNA to help them cure a genetic disease or a health issue.

Pros & Cons...

Pros:

  • These would help people with genetic disorders or health issues be cured and live a healthy, easy lifestyle.

Cons:

  • It would change people's genetic makeup, and could affect their minds and personalities.

How is Technology Used in Gene Therapy & Genomic Medicine?

Computers, microscopes, probes, and other useful technology.

Designer Babies & Bioethics

Designer Babies: This gives parents the opportunity to pick out certain genes for their child to help pick out what they will look, sound, and act like.

Bioethics: Morals and ethics in the scientific field of biology.

How Is It Done?

Genetic scientists figure out what genes the parents want their offspring to have, and they alter the genetic makeup and DNA of the embryo to have those certain genes.

Bioethics: Includes the right and wrong of life principles and they are applied to the scientific studies preformed in biology.

Are Designer Babies & Bioethics Used Today?

Designer Babies are extremely new so hardly anyone has used them, and it is very expensive, so not many people have used it.

Bioethics are used every day in biology and science.

Ethical Issues...

Designer Babies interfere with individuality and could interfere with human rights since they are basically a scientific lab study.

Pros & Cons...

Pros:

  • It helps parents decide how they want their child to be which helps parents expect it instead of them acting unexpectedly.
  • Bioethics helps scientists choose between right and wrong every day.

Cons:

  • It interferes with people's religious beliefs
  • It interferes with people's individuality and their personality and uniqueness.

How is Technology Used in Designer Babies & Bioethics?

Computers, genes, probes, extremely powerful microscopes, all laboratory equipment on bioethics.

Epigenetics

How Is It Done?

The study of changes in organisms caused by modification of gene expression rather than alteration of the genetic code itself.

Is Epigenetics Used Today?

Yes, it is used, but not often.

Ethical Issues...

There isn't many ethical issues for this biotechnology subject. The only ethical issues are the same as designer Babies and gene Therapy and genomic Medicine.

Pros & Cons...

Pros:

  • Helps figure out cures to genetic disorders, mutations, diseases, and other health problems.

Cons:

  • It interferes with people's religious beliefs and indivupiduality.

How is Technology Used in Epigenetics?

The same technology used in designer babies, genomic medicine, and gene therapy.

DNA Fingerprinting & Crime Scene Investigation

How Is It Done?

DNA fingerprinting is a test to identify and evaluate the DNA in a person's cells.

Is DNA Fingerprinting & Crime Scene Investigation Used Today?

Yes, in almost every crime scene investigation.

Pros & Cons...

Pros:

  • Helps discover the criminal involved in the crime.

Cons:

  • There isn't really any cons in this biotechnology suabject.

How is Technology Used In DNA Fingerprinting and Crime Scene Investigation?

Genetic testing, computers, microscopes, DNA testing, almost all lab equipment, and Gel Electrophoresis, and many other tools and technology.

DNA Ancestry & Paternity Kits

How Is It Done?

DNA is taken from the suspected father and the child, and it is sent off to be tested to see if it is complementary.

Are DNA Ancestry & Paternity Kits Used Today?

Yes, all of the time in multiple cases.

Ethical Issues...

There aren't many ethical issues with this topic.

Pros & Cons...

Pros:

  • It helps a single mother figure out who the father is so she can receive support.
  • It helps a suspicious father figure out if they really are the father.

Cons:

  • Is very expensive
  • Can split a couple of parents if the test comes back negative.

How is Technology Used in DNA Ancestry & Paternity Kits?

DNA tests, computers, microscopes, test tubes, and multiple other laboratory equipments.

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) & Gel Electrophoresis

Gel electrophoresis is a laboratory method used to separate mixtures of DNA, RNA, or proteins according to molecular size.

How Is It Done?

In gel electrophoresis, the DNA strands that are to be separated are pushed by an electrical field through a gel that contains small pores.

Are Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR) & Gel Electrophoresis Used Today?

Yes, they are used in criminal investigation cases all the time, and I'm many other scenarios.

Ethical Issues...

The only ethical issues involved with this, would be with the dangers of dealing with electricity, and although the harm it can cause to someone is minimal, it could still be dangerous to deal with.

Pros & Cons...

Pros: The pore size of acrylamide are uniform. It is inert and not react with sample since there is no charge associated with it. Very high resolving power. Can increase or decrease molecular sieving by manipulate the pore sizes. Different buffers can be used to manipulate resolution and run time. Chemically synthethic gel can give more reproducible results. Promote better separations at higher field strengths due to efficient heat dissipation of thin gels (gel-electrophoresis.wixsite.com).
Cons: Acrylamide and TEMED are neurotoxic compounds. Gloves should be wear when handling solutions of acrylamide and TEMED. Longer wait time for gel to set. More care needed when pouring the gel to ensure gas bubbles are removed (gel-electrophoresis.wixsite.com).

How is Technology Used in Polymerase Chain Reactions (PCR) & Gel Electrophoresis?

Generally, the gel consist pf acrylamide, bisacrylamide, the optional denaturant (SDS) and a buffer with an adjusted pH, Electricity, stabilizer (such as ammonium per sulfate and TEMED), gel caster, filters, syringes, and many other scientific lab Technology.

Did You Know?

There are two different ways to read the DNA fragments in the gel, one is staining the gel and looking at the DNA fragments that have absorbed the color, and the other way is to look under an ultraviolet lamp (a black light) and they will appear.

Plasmid, Recombinant DNA, & Transgenic Organisms

a genetic structure in a cell that can replicate independently of the chromosomes, typically a small circular DNA strand in the cytoplasm of a bacterium or protozoan. Plasmids are much used in the laboratory manipulation of genes.

How Is It Done?

Researchers can insert DNA fragments or genes into a plasmid vector, creating a so-called recombinant plasmid. This plasmid can be introduced into a bacterium by way of the process called transformation. Then, because bacteria divide rapidly, they can be used as factories to copy DNA fragments in large quantities (www.nature.com).
Recombinant DNA is formed by using a restriction enzyme that cuts the double strand at a particular point. The same enzyme is used to cut a second piece of DNA. When the fragments are mixed together, the complementary ends of each strand will bind with those of the other, forming a recombinant DNA molecule (www.Britannica.com).
A transgenic organism carries in all its cells a foreign gene that was inserted by laboratory techniques. Each transgenic organism is produced by introducing cloned genes, composed of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) from microbes, animals, or plants, into plant and animal cells (www.aces.uiuc.edu).

Is Plasmid, Recombinant DNA, & Transgenic Organisms Used Today?

Yes, they are all used, some are used more often than others, but they are indeed all used today.

Ethical Issues...

  • There are concerns that humans could become resistant to certain fungi.
  • Some spectators believe scientists are starting to act like God?

Pros & Cons...

Pros: Improved Medicines, Improved Livestock (resistance to disease), Improved Crops (resistance to disease, higher yields), Prevention of Genetic Diseases, Lowering the cost of medicines (i.e. Insulin), Safer Medicines (i.e. Insulin), Treatment for pre-existing conditions (i.e. Cancer) (www.rpi.edu).
Cons: Safety concerns (viruses developing antibiotic resistance), Environmental concerns (developing resistance to fungi), Ethical dilemmas over human treatment (i.e. are we playing God?), Potential for Experimental abus (doctors using patients as test subjects), Germline treatment going from treating diseases to a method for picking the traits you want in a child (i.e. specifying hair and eye color) (www.rpi.edu)

How is Technology Used in Plasmid, Recombinant DNA, & Transgenic Organisms?

All laboratory equipment, DNA extraction tools, electricity, advanced computer systems, and microscopes.

Sources Used

Credits:

Created with images by Libertas Academica - "Figure 3" • AZRainman - "GMO Frog Fruit" • quattrostagioni - "Stem Cells" • James St. John - "Schalenblende (zinc-lead ore) (Early Cretaceous mineralization, about 135 Ma; Pomorzany Mine, Upper Silesia, southern Poland) 3" • vit:ͻr - "zoom in / zoom out" • CodonAUG - "Microscopic embryonic mouse brain (DAPI, GFP)"

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