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.