Biotechnology in the Backyard Research Paper Rough Draft

Biotechnology in the Backyard Research Paper Rough Draft -...

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Vazquez, 1 Manuel Vazquez Mr. Tift English 10-3 11 February 2008 Why your Next- Door Neighbor’s Biotechnology Hobby Might be the Next Advancement in Medicine As new technologies come out, people contribute to them on their own time and with their own money as they become more affordable and less complicated. When computer technology became small enough to fit inside the average home, groups were created that at first were just for exchanging parts, but then went into making operating systems, and it would be these groups that would raise and inspire the minds of many, including the founder of Apple Inc (Riddell, par. 1,2). The developments of new methods and technologies in the field of genetic and biological engineering have brought the once- exclusive art of “god modding” to the common person, creating the possibility of people making gene-splicing labs in their backyards and creating their own experiments. This practice of “garage b iotech offers an unique opportunity for people to contribute to society through the development of specialized self-made, custom medicine and new treatments for chronic conditions at home; these can then be openly patented and documented so that others could freely take these products and use them for their own purpose, thus promoting a network that would enable easier research and therefore faster developments of new technologies in the field.
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Vazquez, 2 One of the most important of these technological price drops is in the polymerase chain- reaction (PCR) machines, used for replicating DNA for later use in the genetic “fingerprinting” process. These tend to be large, expensive machines which use very temperature-specific heating cycles with the DNA and chemicals to make the DNA replicate and elongate. The rigidness of the timeframes in each cycle meant that for large batches of DNA, it could take a long time. However, as opposed to paying anywhere from $2,500 to $7000 for one, you can make a PCR thermal cycler for around $300 using a MIT Handy Board and some other parts (Nakane, page 68). And, more recently, a scientist developed a new method of running PCR that did not require a lot of time and heat. This new method could be used to make a PCR machine for $10 that is small, runs on two AA batteries, and could prepare batches in at least 20 minutes (Agrawal, 4316-4319). Once enough copies of the DNA (or DNA segment) are made, they can be analyzed in a process known as electrophoresis; this process takes advantage of the negative charge of DNA to pull it through a dense gel known as agar specifically, agarose, which is derived from agar. The lighter, smaller pieces will move quickly while the longer, heavier sequences take longer to pass through. The pattern formed can then be compared to the model electropherogram. Nowadays, this is cheaply made by buying from any chemical supply store the needed chemicals for the buffers and the agarose gel, getting two plastic boxes one for the buffer, and one for the agarose, which would go inside the buffer box
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  • Fall '13
  • Dr.Chapman
  • Biotechnology, DNA, Embryonic stem cell, international community, Manuel Vázquez

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