Biotechnology and Genetics Blog Post

genetic engineering

what is genetic engineering

Genetic engineering, sometimes called genetic modification, is the process of altering the DNA in an organism’s genome. This may mean changing one base pair (A-T or C-G), deleting a whole region of DNA, or introducing an additional copy of a gene.It may also mean extracting DNA from another organism’s genome and combining it with the DNA of that individual. Genetic engineering is used by scientists to enhance or modify the characteristics of an individual organism. Genetic engineering can be applied to any organism, from a virus to a sheep. For example, genetic engineering can be used to produce plants that have a higher nutritional value or can tolerate exposure to herbicides.

What is needed for it to work?

genetic engineering to work it must have, DNA,which is cut with the help of restriction enzymes, genes that are transported in the region of plasmids and ligase enzymes. The genes of interest from an organism are cut using a restriction enzyme.

what is the process?

The genes that are cut are inserted into plasmids. Before insertion, the plasmids are cut using restriction enzyme. The foreign genes are inserted into the plasmids and sealed using the ligase enzyme. The new plasmid is transferred into an agrobacterium for culture. The agrobacterium is then transferred to the plant or animal cell. The genetic engineering process is a small piece of circular DNA called a plasmid is extracted from the bacteria or yeast cell. Then a small section is then cut out of the circular plasmid by restriction enzymes, ‘molecular scissors.  After that the gene for human insulin is inserted into the gap in the plasmid. This plasmid is now genetically modified.  Then the genetically modified plasmid is introduced into a new bacteria or yeast cell. This cell then divides rapidly and starts making insulin. To create large amounts of the cells, the genetically modified bacteria or yeast are grown in large fermentation vessels that contain all the nutrients they need. The more the cells divide, the more insulin is produced. When fermentation is complete, the mixture is filtered to release the insulin. The insulin is then purified and packaged into bottles and insulin pens for distribution to patients with diabetes.

how does genetic engineering work?

To help explain the process of genetic engineering we have taken the example of insulin, a protein that helps regulate the sugar levels in our blood. Normally insulin is produced in the pancreas, but in people with type 1 diabetes there is a problem with insulin production. People with diabetes therefore have to inject insulin to control their blood sugar levels. Genetic engineering has been used to produce a type of insulin, very similar to our own, from yeast and bacteria like E. coli.

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