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Gene Modification and Biotechnology Organizer

Recombinant DNA Technology


Creation of recombinant DNA (rDNA) in the lab through modification of

genetic material
Two methods commonly used: molecular cloning and polymerase chain
o Molecular cloning involves the use of a vector, such as a plasmid
(extrachromosomal, self-replicating DNA molecules), in which the
recombinant DNA is inserted into the vector, and the vector is inserted
into an organism (e.g. E.coli)
o Polymerase chain reaction is a method of DNA replication which occurs
in vitro (outside of body), in which enzymes are used to rapidly
produce copies of denatured, isolated DNA strands
Recombinant DNA Technology has been used to produce insulin for people
suffering from diabetes, human growth hormone without the use of cadavers,
vaccines for diseases such as Hepatitis B, diagnosing HIV and shows potential
for future use with preventions and cure of genetic diseases like cystic
fibrosis or sickle cell anemia

Gene transfer using plasmids:

o The most commonly used method of DNA recombination is through
plasmids in E.coli
o To start the process, mRNA is taken from the human body and a DNA
strand is created with the use of the enzyme reverse transcriptase


To properly attach to plasmids, the strands of DNA are given sticky

ends, which are located at the ends of the DNA strands (extra G
Plasmids, on the other hand, are taken and cut open using restriction
Sticky ends of extra C nucleotides are attached to plasmids and the
DNA strand and the plasmid are linked together using DNA ligase
E.coli bacteria, acting as host cells, have plasmids inserted into them
This method is used to produce human insulin, in which E.coli bacteria
have plasmids containing the instructions for insulin production, which
can be extracted from the cell and purified for medical use

The Human Genome Project


Genome is the whole of the genetic information contained within an

organism, which, for this case, is the human

The Human Genome Project was a research project which had the aims of
mapping the complete genome of the human body and identifying
the functions of all genes

Initially, the project started off with public funding from the US Government in
1990 and was completed ahead of schedule by 2003
Several other governmental organizations and private corporations worked
with the United States for mapping of the genome, with some separate
projects being privately funded

As a result of sequencing the human genome, scientists have been able to

determine that there are approximately 25,000 human genes, along with

their structures and functions, showing potential for use within the biomedical

The Human Genome Project has given much insight of many genetic
diseases, why they occur and the genes that causes these diseases
Biomedical technology has relied on data from the HGP for many uses, such
as the use of stem cells to cure genetic diseases

Works Consulted


Allott, Andrew. Biology for the IB Diploma. 2014 ed. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2014. Print.
Oxford IB Study Guides.