Direct human manipulation of an organism’s genetic
material in a way that does not occur under natural
Plasmids: small circular pieces of DNA that can exit and
enter bacterial cells
Restriction Enzymes: chemical scissors that can cut DNA at
Bacteria Engineering Plants with New
Organism with a desired
characteristic is chosen and
the gene is located and
identified. The chromosome
is removed and the gene is
cut out (restriction enzyme)
DNA from the Cod is inserted
into cut plasmid.
(recombinant DNA molecule)
The new plasmid is exposed
to a cell culture and the
plasmid enters the
Bacteria are put into the
same environment as the
plant. Therefore they enter
the plant cells and
incorporate the new gene.
A new plant is produced
which now carries the gene.
Gene Therapy Possibilities
Obstacles to Gene Therapy
Many treatments may be necessary due to divisions
Not possible to control where a gene is inserted
Monitor body immune system
Virus may recover its ability to cause disease once it
is in the target cell
Many disorders are caused by more than one gene
The vector must be able to reach all or most of the
Gene Therapy Successes
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
Possible to repair the gene
Stimulate new hairs
Gene Therapy: Blindness
4. Why are engineers interested in being able to produce large amounts of spider
5. What is Bt corn? Why would it be advantageous for a farmer to plant Bt corn
rather than regular corn?
6. Make a list of pros and cons of using recombinant DNA technology in the food
2. What characteristics enable viruses to be used as vectors in gene therapy?
3. What are some challenges that scientists have to overcome in gene therapy?
5. Make a list of ethical considerations for using gene therapy and genetic
What are the church’s beliefs regarding genetic engineering and gene therapy?