Using Dna in Science and Technology Essay

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There are countless applications of DNA in both science and technology, which provide benefit to mankind in areas ranging from medicine to agriculture, as-well as justice (the use of DNA in forensic science is an example). The use of DNA has enhanced our knowledge and understanding of the complex interactions of genetics and the environment. Gene therapy is the use of recombinant DNA to treat an individual suffering from a genetic disorder. Recombinant DNA (in this context) is whereby a gene that corrects a genetic disorder is inserted into DNA from another organism before being used in treatment; an example of this is the treatment of cystic fibrosis. The condition is caused by a mutated CFTR (cystic fibrosis trans membrane conductance regulator) gene which increases the viscosity of mucus in the body. A healthy human CFTR gene is isolated form a molecule of DNA using restriction endonuclease enzymes; which cut the gene out in a staggered fashion to leave a DNA fragment containing the gene which consists of exposed ‘sticky ends’ (exposed nucleotide bases on the fragment). A plasmid from a bacterial cell is then cut using the same restriction endonuclease enzyme, so that the bases of the sticky ends on both the plasmid and DNA fragment are complementary to each other, so complementary base pairing can be formed between the plasmid and DNA fragment. The enzyme DNA ligase than combines the sugar-phosphate backbone of both the plasmid and DNA fragment to form a recombinant plasmid. This can then be inserted into lipid molecules which are able to diffuse into a cell by passing through the phospholipid bilayer of the cell (as they are lipid soluble), and administered to the patient as a nasal spray. Although somatic gene therapy (insertion of the correctional gene into body cells) is illustrated here, germ-line therapy can also be used by inserting the gene into

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