biotechnology project by: andrew zitek

Cloning is the process of generating a genetically identical copy of a cell or an organism. Cloning happens all the time in nature. For example, when a cell replicates itself asexually without any genetic alteration or recombination. Prokaryotic organisms, such as bacteria and yeasts will create genetically identical duplicates of themselves using binary fission or budding. In eukaryotic organisms, such as humans, all the cells that undergo mitosis, such as skin cells and cells lining the gastrointestinal tract, are clones. The only exceptions are gametes (eggs and sperm), which undergo meiosis and genetic recombination. In biomedical research, cloning is mainly defined to mean the duplication of any kind of biological material for scientific study, such as a piece of DNA or an individual cell. Segments of DNA are replicated exponentially by a process known as polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, a technique that is used widely in basic biological research. Human reproductive cloning remains universally condemned, primarily for the psychological, social, and physiological risks associated with cloning. Because the risks associated with reproductive cloning in humans introduce a very high likelihood of loss of life, the process is considered unethical. The use of polarized light to visualize an egg cell’s nucleus facilitates the extraction of the nucleus from the egg, resulting in a healthy, viable egg and thereby increasing the success rate of SCNT.

"Cloning." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 27 Oct. 2015. Accessed 13 Mar. 2017.

Genetically modified organism, a organism whose genome has been engineered in the laboratory in order to favour the expression of desired physiological traits or the production of desired biological products. In conventional livestock production, crop farming, and even pet breeding, it has been the practice to breed select individuals of a species in order to produce offspring that have desirable traits. In genetic modification, however, recombinant genetic technologies are employed to produce organisms whose genomes have been precisely altered at the molecular level, usually by the inclusion of genes from unrelated species of organisms that code for traits that would not be obtained easily through conventional selective breeding.Genetically modified (GM) foods were first approved for human consumption in the United States in 1994, and by 2014–2015 about 90 percent of the corn, cotton, and soybeans planted in the United States were Genetically modified. By the end of 2010, GM crops covered more than 10 million square kilometers of land in 29 countries worldwid one-tenth of the world’s farmland. The majority of GM crops were grown in the Americas.GMOs produced through genetic technologies have become a part of everyday life, entering into society through agriculture, medicine, research, and environmental management.

"Genetically modified organism (GMO)." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 24 Aug. 2015. Accessed 15 Mar. 2017.

Stem cell research

Stem cells are an ongoing source of the differentiated cells that make up the tissues and organs of animals and plants. Extensive experience with mouse embryonic stem cells made it possible for scientists to grow human embryonic stem cells from early human embryos, and the first human stem cell line was created in 1998. The use of human embryonic stem cells evokes ethical concerns, because the blastocyst-stage embryos are destroyed in the process of obtaining the stem cells. They are used to allow cancer patients to survive otherwise lethal doses of radiation therapy or chemotherapy that destroy the stem cells in bone marrow. Risks associated with bone marrow allografts include rejection of the graft by the patient’s immune system and reaction of immune cells of the graft against the patient’s tissues (graft-versus-host disease). By recapitulating the disease in the laboratory, scientists were able to study closely the cellular changes that occurred as the disease progressed.

"Stem cell." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 8 Mar. 2016. Accessed 15 Mar. 2017.

DNA fingerprinting, also called DNA typing, DNA profiling, genetic fingerprinting, genotyping, or identity testing, in genetics, method of isolating and identifying variable elements within the base-pair sequence of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). The technique was developed in 1984 by British geneticist Alec Jeffreys. Some of the concerns with DNA fingerprinting, and specifically the use of RFLP, subsided with the development of PCR- and STR-based approaches. The use of technology is a big role of this. You have to put the DNA in a computer and it prints off a sheet with finger prints on it. This is the use of finding who this person is. Once you have a finger print you can determine who it belongs to.

"DNA fingerprinting." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 12 Dec. 2014. Accessed 15 Mar. 2017.

PCR and gel electrophoresis

DNA computing, the performing of computations using biological molecules, rather than traditional silicon chips. The idea that individual molecules (or even atoms) could be used for computation dates to 1959, when American physicist Richard Feynman presented his ideas on nanotechnology.A computation may be thought of as the execution of an algorithm, which itself may be defined as a step-by-step list of well-defined instructions that takes some input, processes it, and produces a result. In DNA computing, information is represented using the four-character genetic alphabet (A [adenine], G [guanine], C [cytosine], and T [thymine]), rather than the binary alphabet (1 and 0) used by traditional computers.Although Adleman sought only to establish the feasibility of computing with molecules, soon after its publication his experiment was presented by some as the start of a competition between DNA-based computers and their silicon counterparts

"DNA computing." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 19 Feb. 2009. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.

Recombinant DNA technology, joining together of DNA molecules from two different species that are inserted into a host organism to produce new genetic combinations that are of value to science, medicine, agriculture, and industry. Since the focus of all genetics is the gene, the fundamental goal of laboratory geneticists is to isolate, characterize, and manipulate genes.Although it is relatively easy to isolate a sample of DNA from a collection of cells, finding a specific gene within this DNA sample can be compared to finding a needle in a haystack. Consider the fact that each human cell contains approximately 2 metres (6 feet) of DNA. Therefore, a small tissue sample will contain many kilometres of DNA.In biology a clone is a group of individual cells or organisms descended from one progenitor. This means that the members of a clone are genetically identical, because cell replication produces identical daughter cells each time. The use of the word clone has been extended to recombinant DNA technology, which has provided scientists with the ability to produce many copies of a single fragment of DNA, such as a gene, creating identical copies that constitute a DNA clone.

"Recombinant DNA technology." Britannica School, Encyclopædia Britannica, 28 Aug. 2009. Accessed 16 Mar. 2017.


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