Applications of Genetic Engineering


12 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 4 μήνες)

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BIOPL 2400

9/17/2009 3:18:00 PM

Applications of Genetic Engineering

Most examples of GMOs are in plant systems/ agriculture

Some medical/ human examples, largely at testing stage

Medical Examples

Gene Therap


Introduce gene to organism to help cure gene diseases

Production of Insulin
and other drugs



Killed or weakened forms of the virus


Build up antibodies in the immune system

Gene Therapy

Insert engineered gene into cells to correct a genetic disorder

First test case was in 1990 to treat Severe Combined
Immunodeficiency Disea
se (SCID)


Single gene mutation which shut down immune system

Body can’t fight any diseases so the person can’t be
exposed to anything

Disease was caused by a single gene mutation the body did not
produce an enzyme which led to destruction of white blood ce

Most gene therapy

Gene Therapy for SCID

Doctors cultured cells from patient’s body by transfusion, inserted
functional gene for the enzyme, and used transfusions to re
introduce functional cells

Was successful, though patient needed repeated transfusi
monthly for rest of life


A common result of most gene therapy test cases

Gene Therapy

Most tests have failed

Body rejects vector used to introduce gene
immune response

Gene stops functioning, cells eventually die

Genes often inserted into Somatic

cells which are not passed
on to next generation. Cure is not heritable.

For trait to be inherited, must be inserted into Germ line

which lead to production of gametes

For this type of result, gene must be inserted at Embryonic stage



Germ line Therapy

Genetic modification at the embryonic stage of development

Insertion or removal of genes, which are passed on from cell to cell

Done in the lab on non
human embryos since the 1980s

Human Germ Line Therapy banned by AAAS since 2000,

ethical issues have been worked out

Will it be possible to alter genetic makeup to select for specific traits
in humans


Take gene that induces immune response in humans, insert it into a
harmless virus to create safer vaccines

Most vaccines

given by injection

Edible vaccines

incorporate protein to induce immune response
into potatoes, bananas

vaccinate individuals when eaten

it will
turn on the immune system of the person

B and

Human and Mouse tumor fragments ha
ve been inserted into
tobacco plants leading to a potential vaccine for non

Organ transplants

Transgenic Pigs altered to produce organs which are less likely to
be rejected as transplants


Growing organs in tissue c
ulture to be used for transplants

to Stem Cell Research

Cell transplantation therapy

similar to gene therapy

for spinal
cord injury and Parkinson’s

Animal GMOs

Transgenic Mice

used for research into human diseases


gene for
silk from spiders inserted into goat eggs

developed then produce protein in milk which can be harvested and
used as fiber

lightweight and extremely strong

(stronger than
Kevlar, potential use for bulletproof vest)

Transgenic Salmon

grow to mar
ket size in half the time of non

Farm animals engineered as well to be rapid growing leaner, or
produce useful pharmaceuticals

Production of infertile individuals to control populations


sterile Transgenics or “Terminator Insects”

d to
confer sterility to undesired insects that spread diseases, eat crops,

None of these have been introduced


Don’t want these
sterile transgenic gene to get into good
insect and reduce their population


Engineered version of the enzyme Chy
mosin which
causes milk to curdle

higher levels present

used in 60% of
cheese production

BST (Bovine Somatotropin) increases milk production in cows

9/17/2009 3:18:00 PM

9/17/2009 3:18:00 PM