GENETIC ENGINEERING

GENETIC ENGINEERING

This is a technology that involves the manipulation of the genotype of an organism to get the desired trait. It also involves the transfer of gene coding for the desired trait from one organism to another.

Application of Genetic Engineering

Pharmaceutical industries:

  • Making of hormones e.g. Human insulin and human growth hormone.
  • Enzymes e.g. Alph-Anti-Trypsin (AAT) used to treat emphysema. (c) Proteins.
  • Drugs and vaccines.

Agricultural industries:

  • Transgenic animals and plants are produced which are also called Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s).
  • A variety of tomato with improved paste and a longer shell life.
  • Sheep for producing desired proteins in milk.
  • Plants resistant to pests and diseases.

Cloning

  • This is the making of identical copies of genes, DNA and whole organisms.
  • Cloning is used in plants – that is tissue culture e.g. in development of various varieties of bananas and Eucalyptus trees.
  • The first mammal to be cloned successfully was Dolly – the sheep.
  • A nucleus from the cell obtained from the udder of the sheep was inserted in an unfertilized egg without a nucleus.
  • This zygote was introduced into the uterus of a sheep and developed to full term.

Gene therapy

  • Involves injecting genes into patients of certain diseases e.g. Parkinson’s diseases.
  • The injected gene alters metabolism to bring about the cure of the disease.

 

See also:

PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF GENETICS

MUTATIONS

LINKAGE

COMPLETE AND INCOMPLETE DOMINANCE

STRUCTURE OF DNA

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