Biotechnology Georgiana walters

CLONING

Cloning is producing a copy of an organism that is genetically identical to the original.

TYPES OF CLONING

NATURAL: Natural cloning can occur in plants, as some produce asexually. This creates an exact copy of the plant because there is not another set of DNA that it's being mixed with. Binary fission occurs in some single-celled organisms, resulting in more copies of it. Natural cloning can also occur when twins are born- they are almost exact copies of each other.

THERAPEUTIC: Cloning of tissues and organs in a labratory to be used to help people who are sick or injured. This is done by using somatic cell nuclear transfer, or SCNT, to grow an egg that can then be used for stem cells. It is very beneficial to the medical feild because it has the potential to replace missing body parts.

REPRODUCTIVE: Cloning of a new organism. This also starts with SCNT, which is placing a somatic, or body, cell into the nucleus of a reproductive cell. The cell is then inserted into a surrogate animal to be birthed naturally. When the baby is born, they are a perfect replica of the animal whose somatic cell was taken. So far, many different types of mammals and fish have been cloned, but no humans have been successfully cloned.

THE ETHICS OF CLONING

Human cloning brings up many ethical problems concerning religion, morals, and the idea of individuality. Some religions believe that human cloning is unethical because it is creating children unnaturally. Other people simply believe that it is not ethical to attempt to clone a human when it is likely that the child will not survive. The short telomeres in a cloned organism are also an ethical problem, because it scientists cannot lengthen the telomeres, the child will not live as long because his or her cells have already aged. Lastly, there is debate about the ethics of creating an exact copy of a human being- there are concerns about the loss of individuality. On the other hand, cloning could also have benefits. It could help a childless couple who are unable to conceive- they could do so artificially and be able to have a child. It is also helpful in stem cell research, although the clones used for this are not grown yet. There are many things to consider about cloning, but it ultimately does more harm than good.

BIOINFORMATICS and MICROARRAYS

Bioinformatics is a the development of software and scientific processes to help us understand a variety of topics relating to biological data like DNA. Microarrays are a form of bioinformatics used to investigate things like cancer and pest control.

Microarrays help scientists to find the differences between types of DNA depending on which genes are turned on and off. They are conducted by first figuring out the location of all the genes in a genome. They then make copies of all the genes and separate them into single strands, and then put a piece of each kind into the microarray on a microscope slide. Then they can compare the genes that they put into the microarray. It can help them figure out why diseases happen or how to help them.

GMO's

WHAT IS A GMO?

GMO's are genetically modified organisms. What this means is that the organism has been altered on a genetic level to have different characteristics. They can be plants or animals, but most are plants. GMO's are made by inserting the DNA of something into the the cells of something else to give it different traits. For example, you might insert the DNA of a natural pesticide into a plant that cannot repel bugs to help it be more resistant to pests. GMO's are currently used in many plants like corn and rice, and are required to be labeled in some countries so consumers know what they're eating.

GMO's have the potential to be very useful in adding desirable traits to plants and animals. However, there are also concerns to take into account. Some bacterial genes used as pesticides for the leaves of plants could eventually transfer to the fruit, concerning people who don't want chemicals in their food. Another concern that is more about ethics is that small farmers could be pushed out of business by large, GMO producing companies, or that since GMO's are able to be patented, farmers could be sued for having GMO's in their crops that they didn't pay for, simply because the wind blew the seeds onto their land. Another concern is that butterflies might be harmed from the pollen of modified corn. The many debates over the ethics and pros and cons of GMO's have led people to push for the labeling of all of these foods.

Top 10 genetically modified foods.

STEM CELL RESEARCH

Stem cell research starts with stem cells, the base cells that aren't specialized for a certain role in the body. These cells can be used to replace dead or injured cells almost anywhere in the body, including the spinal cord and brain, areas destroyed by cancer and chemo, and the heart, liver, and lungs. They can also be used to research how diseases occur, and to test new drugs. Stem cells can be taken from adult cells, umbilical cells, or embryonic cells.

ADULT VS EMBRYONIC

ADULT: This stem cell research can be carried out by extracting cells form the bone marrow or from the peripheral system of the bone. Bone marrow extraction is painful and can cause damage, but yeilds a rich supply of stem cells. Adult cells are most often used when replacing cells in an adult and extracting cells from the bone marrow of that same adult. The matching DNA makes them better than stem cells from someone else.

UMBILICAL: This method simply taking cells from the umbilical cord during pregnancy and storing them as insurance in case the baby should ever need them in the future.

EMBRYONIC: The stem cells are taken when an embryo has around 100 cells, most of which are stem cells because they have not yet started to differentiate. The stem cells are removed, killing the embryo, and kept in a lab to grow them into large numbers of cells that can then be used. They are also very versatile because they are so undeveloped in this stage.

The ethics of stem cell reasearch relate mostly to the use of embryonic stem cells. Some people believe that using human embryos for research is the same thing as killing them, and is unethical. Advocates argue that the embryo is not really human yet, simply because it has no human features. Some studies have also shown a correlation between use of embryonic cells for treatment and the formation of cancer. However, these risks are somewhat overridden by the versitalit and durability of embryonic cells, and the fact that adult cells have other risks such as toxins absorbed throughout the lifetime of the donor. Stem cells have been successfully used to treat diseases, so one people say that the benefits outweigh the ethics. However, the fact remains that using embryonic cells is extinguishing a human life before it is old enough to help itself.

GENE THERAPY and GENOMIC MEDICINE

GENE THERAPY: Using genes to fight disease or even treat it. There are servers different ways to do gene therapy, such as taking a mutated gene or one that causes disease and replacing it with a healthy one, knocking out a diseased gene so it's inactive, and inserting a new gene that will help the person fight the disease. It is still experimental and is only being used for diseases that cannot be cured any other way because of the high level of risk.

GENOMIC MEDICINE: Using a person's genetic information to help in diagnostics and treatment of problems. Some example of ways it could be used is to tailor newborn screening, to determine if a replacement organ would be rejected by the body, to help cure cancer, and to trace diseases' origins and effects. It is not currently in use except for experiments and trials.

DESIGNER BABIES and BIOETHICS

Designer babies are babies who were genetically modified before being placed in the womb. They can be modified for a variety of things like resistance to diseases, gender selection, or even traits like eye color or athleticism. It is done by using basically a really small scalpel, except it's an enzyme. The enzyme moves around the genes and slices through different genes and DNA sequences to code the baby for its traits.

ETHICS OF DESIGNER BABIES

Designer babies bring up a number of ethical concerns. One such concern is that having genetically modified individuals would create a division between poorer people who could not afford designer babies and richer people who can. This would further widen the gap between classes as unmodified people would not have the same abilities as modified people and therefore would not have a chance to advance. The idea of choosing the sex of a baby is also controversial, as some people believe that it is a bad choice to start down that path because it can lead to anything. The process is also still very experimental, so genetically modified babies made with the process could have unanticipated side mutations. However, there are also pros to this, such as eliminating diseases and helping children by not giving them genes so that they are predisposed to, say, obesity or depression. Overall, there end up being more problems with designer babies than benefits.

EPIGENETICS

Epigenetics differences between twins.

Epigenetics is about how your body turns genes on and off throughout your life. The things you do, like what you eat, who you talk to, how much you sleep, or where you live can affect your epigenetics. It can change how you look, or in some cases, give you a disease like Alzheimer's or cancer. Epigenetics can also affect how your cells decide to differentiate and become specialized cells.

An example of epigenetics would be the case of identical twins. The reason I can tell apart Daniel and Ryan is because epigenetics have changed their appearances slightly as they each grew, based on how they live their life.

DNA FINGERPRINTING and CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION

DNA fingerprinting is also known as DNA profiling. It is the process used to identify a person's DNA and evaluate it, and is called "fingerprinting" because people's genetic information is as unique as their fingerprints. This method can be useful for many different reasons, such as solving crimes, seeing if two people are related, identifying a body, or figuring out what organism caused a disease. Only a small sample of cells is required for this process, so it can be done on a piece of hair or a drop of blood.
An example of DNA fingerprinting.

DNA fingerprinting can be very useful in crime scene investigation. Because it only takes a small sample of cells to do, fingerprinting can solve crimes with only some hair or skin scrapings caught under the fingernails of the victim. Its ability to identify bodies is also useful as law enforcement is sometimes faced with a partial or decomposed body that must be identified to solve a crime or catch a criminal. The effectiveness of these techniques have led them to be used on a global scale.

PERSONAL ANCESTRY and PATERNITY KITS

PERSONAL ANCESTRY KITS: Can tell you your ethnic background or trace your ancestors back to see new family connections. It uses microarray technology and a saliva sample, which is less effective than a blood sample but better for marketing. Your genome is compared to other people's and that helps scientists figure out where you're from, because people from the same area have some similar genetic traits. It takes around 6-8 weeks to do. Some tests are autosomal, and some are not, meaning that some tests only test the X or Y chromosome, and some test all the other 22 pairs as well.

PATERNITY KITS: Used to determine who the father of a child is. The potential father and the child take cheek swabs, and send them in for testing. The test shows the similarities and differences between the two DNA samples, helping scientists determine if the man is the father. The closer the relation, the more similar the DNA strands, so a direct father-child relationship will have mostly the same DNA, with the child's DNA mixed with the mother's as well. Paternity tests are very reliable, and are viable evidence in court cases due to their reliability.

PCR and GEL ELECTROPHORESIS

PCR stands for Polymerase Chain Reaction. It is using DNA polymerase to create a new strand of DNA synthetically that is complementary to the original strand. Heating and cooling are alternated to help melt the DNA and primers help scientists to copy select pieces of DNA. It can be used to create thousands of copies of a DNA strand. These copies can be used in research diagnosis, or anything else that requires copies of a DNA strand to confirm its accuracy.
Gel electrophoresis separates strands of DNA, RNA, and protein depending on their size. To do this, scientists use an electrical current and a gel with small holes in it. The electrical current pushes the strands through the holes, and the smaller the strand, the faster it travels. Dye stains the particles as they travel through the gel, and they can then be seen better when being studied after seperation.

These two are related because electrophoresis is often used to analyze the results of polymerase chain reaction. Together, they can be used in forensics, diagnosis, and genetic testing.

PLASMIDS, RECOMBINANT DNA, and TRANSGENIC ORGANISMS

PLASMID: Circular DNA in a bacteria that is separate from the other DNA. It has only a few genes in it. These DNA circles can be manipulated and isolated inside the bacteria. There are two types of plasmid: the stringent plasmid only replicates when the chromosomes in the bacteria replicate; and the relaxed plasmid just keeps replicating without any outside stimulus. Plasmids can be manipulated by using enzymes and PCR to mutate them. They can be mapped out just like regular DNA. They can be used with genetic markers as well to help research. Combining plasmids can be inserted into bacteria to grow human insulin for medical purposes.

RECOMBINANT DNA: This is combining DNA from one organism into the DNA of another organism to change its DNA structure and therefore its properties. This can be done in three different way, which are transformation, phage introduction, and non bacterial transformation. Transformation is done by putting a piece of DNA into a vector that can transport it to where the scientist wants it and insert it into the host cell, often bacteria such as E. Coli. Non bacterial transformation is similar to transformation, except it doesn't use bacteria as the host cell- it can also use processes like microinjection and biolistics. Phage introduction uses a phage instead of a bacteria to do the same process. The practical applications of recombinant DNA is in cloning or in the beforementioned plasmids.

TRANSGENIC ORGANISMS: Organisms that have been modified to include DNA from another organism. Common examples include: GMO crops, testing "knock out" mice, vaccine producing bananas, silk producing goats, and glowing fish.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

  • I put only the base website name because I used most of these more than once on different topics, so it would've been really repetitive and probably a mile long if I listed them each time.
  • learn.genetics.utah.edu
  • genome.gov
  • science.howstuffworks.com
  • bioinformatics.org
  • britannica.com
  • advanced.jhu.edu
  • dictionary.com
  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • thebalance.com/what-are-gmos
  • nongmoproject.org
  • scu.edu
  • allaboutpopularissues.org
  • mayoclinic.org
  • ghr.nlm.nih.gov
  • motherjones.com
  • embryo.asu.edu
  • nypost.com
  • cbsnews.com
  • whatisepigenetics.com
  • sciencedaily.com
  • webmd.com
  • fingerprinting.com
  • wisegeek.org
  • encyclopedia.com
  • ancestry.com
  • genetics.thetech.org
  • dnacenter.com
  • dnatesting.com
  • ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
  • nature.com
  • dnalc.org
  • faculty.unlv.edu
  • khanacademy.org
  • nationaldiagnostics.com
  • askabiologist.asu.edu
  • rpi.edu
  • newworldencyclopedia.org
  • knowgenetics.org

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.