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DNATechnology101

DNATechnology101 - Biotechnology 1 We have discussed some...

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Biotechnology - 1 We have discussed some of the ways in which the structure of DNA can be changed in individuals through mutation and how DNA changes from generation to generation through recombination and independent assortment during meiosis and sexual reproduction. For thousands of years humans have used selective breeding in agriculture, horticulture and what was once called "animal husbandry" to obtain and maintain desired inheritable traits with many species of plants and animals. In this sense, humans manipulated genes for thousands of years before we had any knowledge about what a "gene" is. We have taken advantage of the capabilities of many organisms to manufacture foods and beverages we like – yogurt beer, wine and cheese are all examples of natural "biotechnology" which produces things we humans find useful. Drugs, such as penicillin are products of fungi, used for human benefit. The streptomycin drugs are bacterial derivatives. Penicillium mold was one of the first organisms deliberately "mutated" to produce better strains of the penicillin drug. In addition, humans have, by our very treatment of our surroundings and those who inhabit our surroundings, been responsible (deliberately and/or unintentionally) for the loss of hundreds of species, and their unique combinations of genes through extinction. Today, the field that we speak of as biotechnology, (the manipulations of organisms or their components to do something useful) or genetic engineering (direct manipulation of genes), effects changes in the DNA molecule and/or in the organism in very precise and directed ways, for research and for industrial or commercial applications. Much of today's DNA research is based on refining natural methods of recombination, and taking advantage of some means of introducing new or different DNA into host cells. Such research is often called recombinant DNA research. Transgenic alterations involve DNA isolated from one organism being spliced into a different species. Keep in mind, though, that all DNA is composed of the same four same nucleotides no matter the origin of the unique sequence. Genes for the fluorescent enzyme luciferase, isolated from naturally fluorescent organisms have been spliced into a several species for a variety of genetic and research purposes. Fluorescent Rabbit Fluorescent Tobacco
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Biotechnology - 2 Biotechnology or genetic engineering has many goals, including: Improving our understanding of inheritance and genetics via basic research Improving our treatment of genetic disorders (and some diseases) Providing economic and health benefits in agriculture, medicine and industry Using the tools of DNA technology to increase knowledge in all areas of biology. Facilitating criminal law via evidence analysis (e.g., DNA "fingerprints") Some DNA technology research involves altering existing DNA to promote or prevent the expression of certain genes. One example of altered DNA is found in the commercial tomato industry. Biotechnology has been used to suppress the
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