Genetic engineering involves changing the
genetic material of an organism
Genes can be transferred from one organism
Genes can be transferred into plants and
animals so that they develop desired
All students know that genes can be transferred
from one organism to another
Most are able to explain the term genetic
engineering and describe how genes can be
transferred. They are able to list some
advantages and disadvantages of genetic
engineering and interpret information about
cloning techniques and genetic engineering
Some students can explain the process in terms
of producing useful proteins and organisms
which are improved themselves.
Glow in the dark mouse embryo
Bacteria are often genetically engineered to produce useful
chemicals because their DNA is loose in the cytoplasm,
making it easy to modify. They also grow and replicate quickly.
of main DNA
small ring of
A new gene can be inserted into the
bacteria then produce the protein for which the gene codes.
Changing the genetic code
A virus cannot read its own genes but it can make a host cell
copy them and make the proteins.
This virus is a
infects bacteria by injecting its
genetic material down a special tube.
Why are viruses useful in genetic
organisms, such as
bacteria and yeast, can easily
be replicated on a large scale.
are used. These
enable the micro
be grown, or ‘cultured’, at
optimum pH, temperature and
The product can be
Producing insulin with bacteria
Insulin and Factor V111
Vat containing genetically engineered insulin
engineered bacteria are unable to make proteins
that are identical to those found naturally in humans, despite
having human DNA.
This is because the
in which bacteria make proteins is
different to the way that mammals make proteins.
Alternatives to bacteria
A better way is to use
in industrial bioreactors.
These produce proteins
that are identical to the
ones found in humans.
How can animals be genetically engineered to help humans?
Genetic engineering and medicines
Foreign DNA, including DNA from humans, can be inserted
into animals. This is called
This method produces higher levels of antibody, more easily
and cheaply, than by using genetically
or mammalian cells.
The protein encoded
by the DNA can then
be produced in a
specific tissue of the
transgenic animal at
a specific time.
What is transgenics?
For example, the gene for a human antibody can be
introduced into goats.
The antibody is then expressed in the goat’s milk, where it
can be purified and used to treat diseases.
DNA is also introduced,
so the human antibody
is only produced in the
goat’s mammary gland
at a certain time.
Pigs crippled by addition of HGH
Silk worms spin fluorescent green
Japanese scientists claim they have made rats
and mice produce human sperm
US scientists have genetically
engineered chickens to grow basic
"legs" instead of wings. Researchers at Harvard Medical School in
Boston, Massachusetts, took a gene normally found only in
chicken legs and transferred it to the forming wings of chick