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GENETIC ENGINEERING

Darshil Shah
A chromosome is a long strand of DNA, packaged together with proteins and
other kinds of molecules. Each
chromosome has a centromere,
which plays an important role
during cell division and also
divides each chromosome into a
short arm and a long arm.
Scientists can tell different
chromosomes apart based on
their size, the relative lengths of
their arms, distinctive staining
patterns, and other
characteristics.
DNA is a large molecule
packaged in chromosomes in
the nucleus of cells. The DNA
molecule contains genes that
direct the production of
proteins.
Genes are working subunits of DNA. DNA is a vast chemical information database
that carries the complete set of instructions for making all the proteins a cell will
ever need. Each gene contains a particular set of instructions, usually coding for a
particular protein.
In 1953, James Watson and Francis Crick proposed a
structure for DNA that not only accounts for this pairing of
bases but also explains how relatively simply the system
of storing and transferring genetic
information is.
To reproduce, a cell must copy
and transmit its genetic
information (DNA) to all of its
descendants. Each strand of the
original molecule acts as a template
for the combination of a new
complementary DNA molecule. The
two strands of the double helix are
first separated by enzymes. With
the assistance of other enzymes, spare parts available inside
the cell are bound to the individual strands following the
rules of complementary base pairing: adenine (A) to thymine
(T) and guanine (G) to cytosine (C). Two strands of DNA are
obtained from one, having produced two daughter molecules
which are identical to one another and to the parent
molecule.
It is important that DNA is replicated correctly because the
whole body depends on the instructions the DNA gives so,
ultimately, the whole body would not perform correctly if the
DNA did not replicate correctly.
In the living cell, DNA undergoes frequent chemical
change, especially when it is being replicated. Most of these changes are quickly
repaired. Those that are not result in a mutation. Thus, mutation is a failure of DNA
repair.
Advantages can include that disease could be prevented by detecting
People/plants/animals that are genetically prone to certain hereditary diseases,
and preparing for the inevitable. Also, infectious diseases can be treated by
implanting genes that code for antiviral proteins specific to each antigen.
Another Disadvantage is that Nature is an extremely complex inter-related chain
consisting of many species linked in the food chain. Some scientists believe that
introducing genetically modified genes may have an irreversible effect with
consequences yet unknown.
Certain chemicals and environmental factors may increase the rate of mutation.
These are called mutagens.
Both parents carry a normal gene (N), and a faulty, recessive, gene (n). The
parents, although carriers, are unaffected by the faulty gene. Their offspring are
affected, not affected, or carriers.
There are many inheritance factors such as eye colour, vision, hair, facial
features, appendages and other (such as immunity to poison ivy).
An organism’s genotype is the set of genes that it carries. An organism’s
phenotype is all of its observable characteristics—which are influenced both by its
genotype and by the environment.
Some traits are determined by the environment, while some come in play
naturally through the genes you receive. Usually, if someone is bought up in a dark
and secluded place, the person will have better eyesight due the environmental
changes whereas if someone lived normally, they have the biggest chance of
having normal eyes.
'Biotechnology' is the practice of using plants, animals and micro-organisms such
as bacteria, as well as biological processes - such as the ripening of fruit or the
bacteria that break down compost - to some benefit.
For example, in industry, medicine and agriculture, biotechnology is used to
produce foods, medicines, test for diseases and remove waste.