GeneticTechnology211 - Genetic Technology - 1 During the...

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Genetic Technology - 1 During the past few weeks we have discussed some of the ways in which the structure of DNA can be changed in individuals through mutation, through "natural" DNA rearrangements that occur in cells, and through recombination and independent assortment during meiosis and sexual reproduction. We also examined some of the genetic technology tools used to detect mutations and to analyze DNA for molecular medicine, forensic and other applications. For thousands of years humans have used selective breeding in agriculture and in horticulture to obtain and maintain desired inheritable traits in many species of plants and animals. In this sense, we have been manipulating genes far longer than we have even known what "genes" are. We have taken advantage of the capabilities of many organisms to manufacture foods and beverages we like: yogurt, beer and wine, and cheese are examples of natural "genetic technology" which produces things we humans find useful. 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 with whom we inhabit our surroundings, been responsible (deliberately and/or unintentionally) for the extinction of hundreds of species and their unique gene combinations. However, the direct manipulation of DNA for purposes of obtaining specific genes to alter the genome of a target organism to do something we humans determine is desirable dates from the 1970's, when researchers discovered the restriction enzymes in bacteria that could cut DNA at precise nucleotide sequences and splice the ends together. Bacteria use their restriction enzymes to remove potential pathogens (viruses) from their genome, but the technique, once discovered, proved to be one that can apply to all DNA. The field of genetic technology was born and increasingly shapes our lives. Genetic technology DNA technology, recombinant DNA technology, biotechnology and genetic engineering are all terms used for the field of molecular biology that involves the manipulations of organisms or their components to effect changes in an organism's DNA in very precise and directed ways, for research or for industrial or commercial applications. Much of today's DNA research is based on refining natural methods of recombination and taking advantage of methods that can introduce different DNA into cells resulting in recombinant DNA in the target cell or organism. The DNA can be from the same or from different organisms. Organisms that have been altered by means rather than by selective breeding are said to be genetically modified organisms or GMOs. Keep in mind that all DNA is composed of the same four nucleotides no matter the origin of the unique sequence, and traditional means of selective breeding also produce recombinant offspring genetically "modified" from their parents. Transgenic recombinant DNA research involves using DNA from different species.
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GeneticTechnology211 - Genetic Technology - 1 During the...

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