Biotechnology Concepts PowerPoint Projectx - Naperville ...

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Oct 23, 2013 (4 years and 16 days ago)

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Biotechnology Concepts PowerPoint Project


You
r group has

been
assigned

a short article to read on a topic from the field of
biotechnology. Each article makes specific reference to a current application of
biotechnology in the fields of forensics, reproductive cloning, personalized medicine, gene
therapy, gene regulation or b
iofuels.

Your groups needs to
:



R
esearch this application



C
reate a
short

PowerPoint presentation that explains the process

in the article



Tell
how
the technology
is used in the article



A
nswers the necessary questions given to you by your teacher.

All inf
ormation should be included on the power point slides. Do not assume these
will be presented in class.

Requirements:

Format:

1.

You should have a
cover slide

with the title of your article, your group members
names and your period.

2.

You should
use 2
-
4

slides

to communicate your ideas.

3.

The final slide should be titled
Research Sources
. Include the URLs that you used
in your research. (No Wikipedia, Ask.com or the like. Check with the teacher if you
are unsure if your website is acceptable).

4.

Feel free to use

bullets; no smaller than 22 point font; no plagiarism (use your own
words).

5.

The PowerPoint should be turned into SharePoint by the end of the school day on
Friday January 20
th
.

6.

Use pictures with at least one that relates directly to the process. The pictu
re must
explain the process and not be used for aesthetic purposes

Content

of your slides
:



Summarize the article and how the technology is used in the article

(for example to
treat a specific illness, create an organism, etc)



Explain briefly the scientific

process behind this application.

Include the answers to the questions in your explanation.




Police Could Use DNA to Learn the Color of Suspe
cts’ Eyes

Discover Magazine; December 13
th

2011

In the dreams of crime scene investigators, no doubt, they can feed a piece of hair into a
machine and see a reconstruction of what the owner looks like. There’s a hint of that
fantasy in the news that Dutch
scientists have developed
a test intended
to
help police tell
from a crime scene DNA sample the color of a suspect’s eyes
. This information is gleaned
from examining six
single nucleotide polymorphisms
, small genetic markers that are
used in
DNA fingerprinting
, and could potentially help steer investigations when there are
few other leads on a suspect and there is no match in police DNA databases. But the test,
whi
ch can tell whether someone has blue, brown, or indeterminate (which encompasses
green, hazel, grey, etc.) eyes with an average of 94% accuracy, doesn’t seem to have
been tested outside of Europe, which raises questions about how well it would work in
popu
lations with greater diversity. It’
s also a little hard to figure
how you could bring this
information to bear in a vacuum of other details

you’d want to avoid hauling someone in
just because they looked suspicious and have the same eye color as the readou
t for the
perp. At the moment, the test is not accurate enough to be introduced as evidence in court,
which could be a bad thing or a good thing…depending on how many
Philip K. Dick

novels
you
’ve read.

Questions:

1. What is gel electrophoresis and what are the steps to prepare DNA for DNA
fingerprinting?


2. What are single nucleotide polymorphisms?


3. How are single nucleotide polymorphisms being used to determine a suspect’s
eye color?












Four Hemophiliac Patients Su
ccessfully Treated with Gene Therapy

Discover Magazine; December 12
th

2011

Hemophilia
, a disease whose victims can suffer serious internal bleeding and may bleed to
death from injuries, f
amously
afflicted several members of European royal families
. But a
study

published in the

New England Journal of Medicine

brings us a bit closer to a new
kind of historic event: a cure.

Following up on years of preclinical trials, including the
curing of hemophiliac mice earlier
this year
, scientists gave six patients a

gene
therapy

treatment
, injecting them with a
specially built virus carrying a functioning version of the gene for the defective clotting
factor. The virus inserted the gene into liver cells, which proceeded to manufacture the
clotting factor, and the patients
maintained elevated levels of it for over 6 months. Four of
the patients were able to stop receiving injections of clotting factor (the current treatment)
altogether.

The scientists are monitoring patients for any signs of liver cancer caused by the virus
inserting the gene in an inopportune location, a known risk in gene therapy, but thus far,
there have been no signs of such complications. The next stage, a trial of 20 patients, will
assess what dosage of virus is necessary to get enough liver cells makin
g clotting factor
that most (hopefully all) patients can stop receiving injections. There are still plenty of ways
that the treatment could fail before reaching the clinic. But here’s hoping that the results
continue to be this promising.


Questions:

1. W
hat is gene therapy?

2. How does the virus create the necessary proteins in the human cells? Trace the
path of the protein creation from RNA to DNA to mRNA to tRNA to protein.

3. What is iRNA?









Big Question for 2012: Will We Create a Dinosaur From
a Chicken?

Discovery News; December 17
th

2011

Could 2012 be the year of
Chickenosaurus
, the first

dinosaur

to live in modern times?

You might recall our story from a few years ago, describing what was then referred to as
"Dinochicken."

To recap,
Jack Horner
, curator of paleontology at the Museum of the
Rockies, told me that he and some colleagues were working to create a dinosaur out of a
chicken.

The goal is to bring back multiple din
osaur characteristics, such as a tail, teeth and
forearms, by changing the levels of
regulatory proteins

that have evolved to suppress
these characteristics in modern birds.

"Birds are dinosaurs, so technically we're making a dinosaur out of a dinosaur," H
orner
explained to me. "The only reason we're using chickens, instead of some other bird, is that
the chicken genome has been mapped, and chickens have already been exhaustively
studied."

The team is

analyzing the genes involved in tail development and res
earching ways of
manipulating chicken

embryos

in order to "awaken the dinosaur within."

So how far ahead are they with the project
now? Horner isn't revealing, but he continues to
share that he and his colleagues are actively working on the needed steps. I think he
wants the result to be complete, and not just a chicken with a dino
-
like tail, for example.

Horner told me that when
Chic
kenosaurus

is created, he looks forward to bringing it out on
a leash during lectures.

"We're always looking for novel ways to get the general public interested in science," he
said, "and you have to admit, it would be better than a slide show for demonstr
ating
evolution."


Questions

1. What are regulatory proteins?


2. How are the proteins changed

in

chicken embryos to create dinosaur
characteristics?





Could Cloning Tech Resurrect the Mammoth?

The long
-
extinct pachyderm could be back to life in five
years time.

Discovery News
; Mon Jan 17, 2011

Japanese researchers will launch a project this year to resurrect the long
-
extinct mammoth
by using
cloning technology
to bring the ancient pachyderm back to life in around five
years time.

The researchers will try to revive the species by obtaining tissue this summer from the
carcass of a mammoth preserved in a Russian research laboratory, the Yomiuri Shimbun
reported.

"Preparations to realiz
e this goal have been made," Akira Iritani, leader

of the team and a
professor emeritus of Kyoto University, told the mass
-
circulation daily.

An

embryo will

be created using an egg cell from an elephant and the DNA from the
mammoth. It

then
will
be inserted into an elephant's uterus in the hope that the a
nimal will
eventually give birth to a baby mammoth.

The elephant is the closest modern relative of the mammoth, a huge woolly mammal
believed to have died out with the last Ice Age.

Some mammoth remains still retain usable tissue samples, making it possibl
e to recover
cells for cloning, unlike dinosaurs, which disappeared around 65 million years ago and
whose remains exist only as fossils.

Researchers hope to achieve their aim within five to six years, the Yomiuri said.

Questions:


1. What are the steps in

the process of
reproductive cloning?


2. What role will
the
mammoth and the elephant have in the process?










Biofuels Face a Reality Check

Quest; December 16, 2011

The idea behind biofuels

is pretty simple. Plants take sunlight and use that energy to make
sugars. The biofuels industry wants to transform those sugars into fuel. That requires
some molecular rearranging, so they’re looking to microbes to do the job.

At the Joint BioEnergy Inst
itute (JBEI) in Emeryville,
E.coli

is the microbe of choice.
Researcher Greg Bokinsky shows me racks of glass tubes that are home to
E.coli
cultures
that have been
biologically engineered
. They’ve created
E.coli

that munch on a woody
plant called switchgra
ss.


“Switchgrass is one that gets mentioned a lot,” says Keasling. “Switchgrass is a native to
much of the Midwest. It grows without a lot of water and fertilizer.”

But unlocking the energy inside switchgrass is no easy task. “Plants have evolved to be
to
ugh. There are beetles, there are fungi that want to attack them all the time and get
access to those sugars. So they’ve evolved defense mechanisms,” he says.

The first line of defense is like a barbed wire fence. Plants protect their sugars with a tough
m
aterial called lignin. Keasling’s team breaks through it using a liquid salt solution.

Once it’s gone, the sugars still have to be broken down further. Most companies use
industrial enzymes to do that.
But this is where Keasling’s
engineered

E
.coli

comes in.

“What we’ve done is we’ve gone to places like the rainforest in Puerto Rico and to compost
piles. We’ve sequenced the organisms that are breaking down that bio
mass and then
cloned those genes into e.coli,” Keasling says.

The
E. coli

break down the sugars for themselves, saving an expensive step in the
process. Using the sugars, they produce fuels. “Really they’re pooping out fuels,” says
Keasling. “And these are

fuels that can be put directly into gasoline engines, diesel
engines or jet engines.” These microbes are an exciting breakthrough for Keasling, since
they could help bring down the cost of production.


Questions:



1. What is a plasmid?


2. How is a plasmid used to genetically engineer the e.coli?


3. Why don’t the original
e.coli

break down the sugars?






New Technology Pinpoints Genetic Differences Between Cancer and
Non
-
Cancer Patients

ScienceDaily; Feb. 22, 2011


A group of
researchers led by scientists from the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute (VBI) at
Virginia Tech have developed a new technology that detects distinct genetic changes
differentiating cancer patients from healthy individuals and could serve as a future cance
r
predisposition test.

The multidisciplinary team, which includes researchers from the University of Texas
Southwestern Medical Center, has created a design for a new
DNA microarray

that
allows them to measure the two million
single
-
nucleotide polymorphism
s or SNPs

(short, repetitive DNA sequences) found within the human genome using 300,000 probes.

SNPs
, which tend to vary greatly among individuals and have traditionally been used in
forensics and paternity tests, are also used to uncover information relat
ed to a number of
other genetic diseases such as Fragile
-
X or Huntington's disease. This advancement
aided the discovery of a
unique pattern of SNP

variation in breast cancer patients that
were not present in the DNA of patients who are cancer
-
free. Throug
h their evaluation of
global changes in the genome, the researchers determined that this pattern change
alludes to a new mechanism disrupting the genome in cancer patients and may represent
a new breast cancer risk biomarker.

The results of the work will b
e featured in an upcoming edition of the journal
Genes,
Chromosomes and Cancer
.


Questions:


1. What is a microarray?


2. How would the microarray use the SNPs to detect cancer predisposition?











Genome of Vegetables Remains Active After you Eat
Them


Discover Magazine; December 22, 2011

Call it a new twist on the old saying, “you are what you eat.” In September a Chinese
research
team reported that fragments of genetic material known as
microRNAs

(miRNA)

are making their way from vegetables into the human bloodstream. Even more surprising,
these bits of plant genome may have health consequences, suggesting that some
biomolecules can remain active even after digestion.

This team of researchers at Nanjing Un
iversity had been studying the miRNAs that
circulate in human blood and were surprised to find that some of the miRNAs weren’t
homegrown but instead came from plants. One of the most common plant miRNAs was
from rice, a staple of their Chinese subjects’ di
ets. Intrigued, they confirmed with a variety
of tests in mice that the miRNA, which, in its native environs, usually regulates plant
development, was definitely coming from food.

MicroRNAs native to humans were first identified in blood just three years a
go; they seem
to help
regulate gene activity
. But biochemist Chen
-
Yu Zhang of Nanjing University
suspected that foreign microRNA might also be present. “I had the crazy idea to check for
nonhuman molecules,” Zhang says. He and his team tested hundreds of v
olunteers and
found about 50 different kinds of plant microRNAs in their blood samples.

The scientists noticed that one such molecule, called MIR168a

which is abundant in rice
and plays a role in plant development

paired up with a piece of human RNA that
helps
remove “bad” LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream. Follow
-
up tests in human cell cultures
confirmed that MIR168a interferes with production of a cholesterol
-
clearing protein. And an
experiment with mice showed that LDL cholesterol stuck around longer

in the blood of the
animals who had eaten rice than in those who had not.


Questions:


1. What is microRNA and what does it do?


2. What is gene regulation?


3. How does the MIR 168a affect human cholesterol levels?



Human Lung Stem Cell Discovered:
Crucial Role in Tissue Regeneration


Science

Daily
;
May 11, 2011


For the first time, researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) have identified a
human lung
stem cell

that is self
-
renewing and capable of forming and integrating multiple
biological
structures of the lung including bronchioles, alveoli and pulmonary vessels.
.


"This research describes, for the first time, a true human lung stem cell. The discovery of
this stem cell has the potential to offer those who suffer from chronic lung disease
s a
totally novel treatment option by regenerating or repairing damaged areas of the lung,"
said Piero Anversa, MD, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at Brigham and
Women's Hospital and corresponding author.


Using lung tissue from surgical
samples, researchers identified and isolated the human
lung stem cell and tested the functionality of the stem cell both
in vitro and in vivo
. Once
the stem cell was isolated, researchers demonstrated in vitro that the cell was capable of
dividing both int
o new stem cells and also into cells that would grow into various types of
lung tissue. Next, researchers injected the stem cell into mice with damaged lungs. The
injected stem cells differentiated into new bronchioles, alveoli and pulmonary vessel cells
w
hich not only formed new lung tissue, but also integrated structurally to the existing lung
tissue in the mice.


The researchers define this cell as truly "stem" because it fulfills the three categories
necessary to fall under stem cell categorization: fir
st, the cell renews itself; second, it forms
into many different types of lung cells; and third, it is transmissible, meaning that after a
mouse was injected with the stem cells and responded by generating new tissue,
researchers were then able to isolate
the stem cell in the treated mouse, and use that cell
in a new mouse with the same results.


"These are the critical first steps in developing clinical treatments for those with lung
disease for which no therapies exist. Further research is needed, but we are excited about
the impact this discovery could have on our ability to regenerate or recrea
te new lung
tissues to replace damaged areas of the lungs," said Joseph Loscalzo, MD, PhD, chair of
the Department of Medicine at BWH and co
-
author.


Questions:


1.

What is a stem cell?


2.

Do these cells meet all of the criteria for “stem cells”?


3.

What is meant

by testing cells “in vitro” and “in vivo”?



Environment and Diet Leave Their Prints On the Heart


Science

Daily: Nov. 29, 2011


A University of Cambridge study, which set out to investigate DNA methylation

in the
human heart and the "missing link" between our lifestyle and our health, has now mapped
the link in detail across the entire
human genome
.


The new data collected greatly benefits a field that is still in its scientific infancy and is a
significant

leap ahead of where the researchers were, even 18 months ago.

Researcher
Roger Foo explains: "By going wider and scanning the genome in greater detail this time
--

we now have a clear picture of the 'fingerprint' of the missing link, where and how
epigene
tics

in heart failure may be changed and the parts of the genome where diet or
environment or other external factors may affect outcomes."


The study originally began investigating the differences in DNA methylation found in the
human heart. Researchers co
mpared data from a small number of people with end
-
stage
cardiomyopathy who were undergoing heart transplantation, and the healthy hearts of age
-
matched victims of road traffic accidents.

DNA methylation

leaves indicators, or "marks,"
on the genome and the
re is evidence that these "marks" are strongly influenced by
external factors such as the environment and diet.


The researchers have found that this process is different in diseased and normal hearts.
Linking all these things together suggest this may be

the "missing link" between
environmental factors and heart failure.

The findings deepen our understanding of the
genetic changes that can lead to heart disease and how these can be influenced by our
diet and our environment. The findings can potentially o
pen new ways of identifying,
managing and treating heart disease.


The DNA that makes up our genes is made up of four "bases" or nucleotides
--

cytosine,
guanine, adenine and thymine, often abbreviated to C, G, A and T. DNA methylation

is the
addition of a methyl group (CH3) to cytosine.

When added to cytosine, the methyl group
looks different and is recognized differently by proteins, altering how the gene is expressed
i.e. turned on or off.

DNA methylation is a crucial part of normal

development, allowing
different cells to become different tissues despite having the same genes. As well as
happening during development, DNA methylation continues throughout our lives in a
response to environmental and dietary changes which can lead to d
isease.




Questions:


What is a genome?


What is epigenetics?


What is methylation and what is its relationship to gene expression?