Biotechnology Applications


Oct 23, 2013 (4 years and 8 months ago)


Biotechnology Applications


Diana L. Duckworth

Rustburg High School

Campbell County

Uses of
in vitro


DNA sequencing of base pairs

Many organisms have been sequenced

Human Genome Project

Know the entire human genome at base pair level

Use sequences to study a number of issues

Address questions of evolution by comparing differences and
similarities in DNA; greater similarity, more closely related

Study function of different genes & how they are regulated

important with regard to gene therapy

Ethical issues: Should one be able to patent a gene?


high cholesterol tolerance in Italian population; who
has the right to that gene & its products?

in vitro


Diagnosis of disease

HIV in earliest stages

Identify harmful alleles through gel

DNA fingerprinting

Paternity tests

Identification of criminals

Applications of
in vivo

DNA cloning

Gene therapy

Vector cells such as viruses used to produce
recombinant DNA containing gene a normal allele
from donor

Used to infect
in vitro
bone marrow cells (stem cells)
from individual with genetic defect

Cells are then reintroduced into patient

Begin to produce normal proteins to combat the

Human trials in SCID (immune deficiency

9/10 showed improvement;

2 later developed leukemia as a result; trials

in vivo


Pharmaceutical products

Bacteria such as
E. coli

as the host organism contain
gene for human insulin

The gene is transcribed by the bacteria producing

Can be produced in industrial environment to produce
insulin for use by diabetics

Other pharmaceutical products

human growth hormone and

Tissue plasminogin activator or TPA (combats blood
clots causing heart attacks

Vaccines; protein that stimulates immune response is
produced by genetic engineering just as other
pharmaceutical products

in vivo


Bioengineered bacteria can be created to aid in
environmental cleanup

Already used in oil spills

May be used to remove heavy metals from pollution

Agricultural Uses

Transgenic livestock

Desirable genes (even from other species) are injected into a
fertilized egg
in vitro

which is then implanted in a surrogate

Developing fetus incorporates gene & organism then has that

Being used to create pharmaceuticals in eggs or in milk

more economical & efficient

More agricultural uses

Transgenic Plants

Use plasmids from soil bacteria as vector

Recombinant DNA incorporated into plant cells which
regenerate into mature plants

Example: golden rice was engineered to contain
carotene; combats Vitamin A deficiency in half of
the world’s population

Pharmaceuticals in tobacco plants

vaccines such as
hepatitus B and factors which interfere with bacteria
that cause tooth decay

Roundup resistant corn (cannot legally be used for

Ethical concerns: what if the plant escapes to
the wild? In food plants

what if strange genes
& proteins cause allergic reactions