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Biotechnology in medicine and agriculture

It is easy to see how biotechnology can be used for medicinal purposes. Knowledge of the genetic makeup of our species, the genetic basis of heritable diseases, and the invention of technology to manipulate and fix mutant genes provides methods to treat the disease. Biotechnology in agriculture can enhance resistance to disease, pest, and environmental stress, and improve both crop yield and quality.

Genetic diagnosis and gene therapy

The process of testing for suspected genetic defects before administering treatment is called genetic diagnosis    by genetic testing    . Depending on the inheritance patterns of a disease-causing gene, family members are advised to undergo genetic testing. For example, women diagnosed with breast cancer are usually advised to have a biopsy so that the medical team can determine the genetic basis of cancer development. Treatment plans are based on the findings of genetic tests that determine the type of cancer. If the cancer is caused by inherited gene mutations, other female relatives are also advised to undergo genetic testing and periodic screening for breast cancer. Genetic testing is also offered for fetuses (or embryos with in vitro fertilization) to determine the presence or absence of disease-causing genes in families with specific debilitating diseases.

Gene therapy is a genetic engineering technique used to cure disease. In its simplest form, it involves the introduction of a good gene at a random location in the genome to aid the cure of a disease that is caused by a mutated gene. The good gene is usually introduced into diseased cells as part of a vector transmitted by a virus that can infect the host cell and deliver the foreign DNA ( [link] ). More advanced forms of gene therapy try to correct the mutation at the original site in the genome, such as is the case with treatment of severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID).

To cure disease using an adenovirus vector, a new gene intended to replace a defective one is packaged with the adenovirus genome. The genes that make the virus pathogenic are removed. The modified DNA is put inside the virus’ capsid, or protein coat. The person to be cured is infected with the modified virus. Viral DNA enters the nucleus, where the modified gene can replace the defective one.
Gene therapy using an adenovirus vector can be used to cure certain genetic diseases in which a person has a defective gene. (credit: NIH)

Production of vaccines, antibiotics, and hormones

Traditional vaccination strategies use weakened or inactive forms of microorganisms to mount the initial immune response. Modern techniques use the genes of microorganisms cloned into vectors to mass produce the desired antigen. The antigen is then introduced into the body to stimulate the primary immune response and trigger immune memory. Genes cloned from the influenza virus have been used to combat the constantly changing strains of this virus.

Antibiotics are a biotechnological product. They are naturally produced by microorganisms, such as fungi, to attain an advantage over bacterial populations. Antibiotics are produced on a large scale by cultivating and manipulating fungal cells.

Recombinant DNA technology was used to produce large-scale quantities of human insulin in E. coli as early as 1978. Previously, it was only possible to treat diabetes with pig insulin, which caused allergic reactions in humans because of differences in the gene product. In addition, human growth hormone (HGH) is used to treat growth disorders in children. The HGH gene was cloned from a cDNA library and inserted into E. coli cells by cloning it into a bacterial vector.

Questions & Answers

what is ecology
volex Reply
ecology is the study of living organisms in interaction to the environment
Mwansa
show the diagram of sponge
Favour Reply
explain the processes found in a carbon cycle
Elvas Reply
photosynthesis;this is the process by which grean plants make there own food by using carbon,oxygen, sunlight in the precess of chlorophyll combusion ;this is the process by which fossil fuels are converted in form of a gas of carbon dioxide by an enzyme called a foillitrrion respiration;a proces
Mwansa
Respiration;this is a process by which living organism release energy from food there eat
Mwansa
decoposition;this process is carried by dead matters or decomposes such as bacteria and fungi where dead matters decay buried for thousand of years excretions the remove of toxic metabolism waste product from the body through excretory or gain such as anus and skin etc
Mwansa
also tarnspiratiom where by a plant losses water inform of water vapour into the at mosphere by rhisombium ezyme
Mwansa
so not enzyme but bacteria
Mwansa
sorry not enzyme but bacteria
Mwansa
what is a base?
Alice Reply
base can be define as the anatomy of structure
Ogundipe
what are somatic cells
KAKU Reply
Somatic cells responsible for making the body
Ahsan
vegetative cells, they divide by mitosis.
Ishitha
what is angiosperms
Papillon Reply
what is the function of bile
Papillon
what is neurologist
Benjamin Reply
A neurologist is a brain doctor,a physician who diagnose and treat all categories of conditions and disease involving the central and peripheral nervous system eg.covering, blood vessels and all effector tissue such as muscle
Favour
what is a cell
God Reply
is a basic unit of living organism
Mwansa
or a basic building blocks of all living things
Mwansa
explain cell biology
Grace Reply
cell biology is a biology branch which study about function,size,definition ,....of cells.
fitsum
what are endotherms
angelina Reply
pls can someone elaborate more on biomagnification
angelina
Hey,what?
Peter
Biomagnification, also known as bioamplification or biological magnification, is any concentration of a toxin, such as pesticides, in the tissues of tolerant organisms at successively higher levels in a food chain.
chance
An endotherm (from Greek ἔνδον endon "within" and θέρμη thermē "heat") is an organism that maintains its body at a metabolically favorable temperature, largely by the use of heat set free by its internal bodily functions instead of relying almost purely on ambient heat.
chance
these are substances that absorbs heat energy
Alice
What diffusion
Oseres Reply
it is the movement of water molecules from the region of higher concentretion to a region of lower concentration
Lukas
is the movement of anything from region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration.
chance
is a movemnt of H2O molecule from a region of higher concentration to the legion of lower Concentration.
Benjamin
diffusion is the movement of particles from a region of higher concentration to a region of lower concentration resulting into an even distribution
Alice
is the movement of water molecules,ions from the region of higher concentration to the region of lower concentration in a semi permeable membrane.
Favour
pls I don't know how to read very well so how can I understand all this
Mercy Reply
But you wrote all this ur self so please continue till you become perfect thanks
Favour
What's succession
Talabi Reply
an acid is a substance that produces hydrogen ions in an aqueous solution
angelina Reply
how? give a reason to support ur answer
SSEJJO
Types of acids and there definitions
SSEJJO
what is acid
asaa Reply
An acid is a substance which gives Hydrogen ions in aqueous solutions.
Ahsan
food poison
asaa
an acid is a chemical substance that produces or gives out hydrogen ions as the only positively charged ion when dissolved in water
Alice
what is salt?
Basit
a sait is a substance formed when hydrogen ions in an acid are partially or fully replaced by a metal or ammonium ions
Alice
When an acid and base react chemically, a salt is form.
Ahsan
what is nervous system
kumkum
nervous system is rensposible of homeostasis
Mwansa
a sait is a compound which tests beta
Mwansa

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Source:  OpenStax, Biology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 29, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11448/1.10
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