Applications of Genetic Engineering

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12 Δεκ 2012 (πριν από 4 χρόνια και 10 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
y

o

Introduce gene to organism to help cure gene diseases



Production of Insulin
and other drugs



Vaccines

o

Killed or weakened forms of the virus

o

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)

o

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
lls



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
ons
monthly for rest of life

o

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


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



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


cells
which lead to production of gametes



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


stem

cells

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,

until
ethical issues have been worked out



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

Vaccines



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



i.e.
hepatitis
-
B and
cholera



Human and Mouse tumor fragments ha
ve been inserted into
tobacco plants leading to a potential vaccine for non
-
Hodgkin’s
lymphoma

Organ transplants



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


xenotransplantation



Growing organs in tissue c
ulture to be used for transplants


relates
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



BioSteel


gene for
silk from spiders inserted into goat eggs


goats
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
-
transformed



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



Production of infertile individuals to control populations



Insects

sterile Transgenics or “Terminator Insects”


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



None of these have been introduced

o

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



Chymogen


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