Genetic Engineering Case Study - tran-sbi3ud-spring12 - home


Dec 10, 2012 (4 years and 6 months ago)


Date: __________________

SBI3U0: Genetics

Name: ________________

Engineering Case Study

Genetic engineering aims to re
arrange the sequence of DNA in gene using artificial methods. To determine the
DNA sequence on such a long chain, a high
speed, low
cost method is needed. Unfortunately, the currently
available method (gel
electrophoresis) does not satisfy these requirements. It cannot provide sufficient
information about the genetic structure. For example, the DNA chain in the gene of E. coli is approximately one
million nucleotides long. Its DNA seque
nce analysis took 12 years. Thus, high
speed determination of DNA
sequence in genes is critical to the development of genetics. Without such a technique, it will be impossible to
understand the genetic mechanism, and GE will be built on thin ice. Given thi
s predicament, the scientific
community, supported by the U.S. Congress has delegated substantial resources to be used in determining gene
structure under the auspices of the Human Genome Project (HGP). In addition to improving the gel
electrophoresis meth
od, HGP has also invested a huge amount of capital in supporting the discovery of a new
method for DNA analysis. Several new mass
spectroscopic techniques, such as MALDI
TOF (matrix
assisted laser
desorption and ionization

flight mass spectromete
r) and FTMS (Fourier transform mass spectrometer),
have been developed and applied to analyze the DNA segment. However, these methods run into difficulties
when the DNA segment is larger than 200 nucleotides. As the size of the DNA increases, the sensitivi
ty and
resolution of the signal greatly decreases and analysis using these methods gradually becomes unreliable. To date
this difficulty has not been overcome despite intensive research.

1. Given its complications, why do we study genetic engineering?

2. Provide and explain three (3) applications of genetic engineering.

3. What are the potential harms of genetic engineering?

4. What is your attitude on genetic engineering?

5. Complete the “Genetic Screening Survey” and provide a response paragrap
h explaining your feeling/opinion
you have as you go through those questions.