Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Topic 4.4

4.4.1: Polymerase Chain Reaction

Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is used by scientist to copy and amplify minute quantities of DNA. The procedure is outlined in the figure below.

Polymerase Chain Reaction

4.4.2 - 4.4.4: What is DNA profiling?

DNA profiling involves the use of gel electrophoresis of DNA. In gel electrophoresis DNA fragments move in an electric field and separate from each other according to their sizes. The smallest fragments will move the farthest distance from the origin of the DNA sample. Answer the question in Figure 2 and click on the figure to show the correct answer then double click on the figure to return to the gel electrophoresis. Using Figure 1 and 2 describe how DNA profiling is carried out.

Analysis of DNA profile
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DNA profile explained

4.4.5: Analyse the DNA profiles below to determine and explain which suspect was present at the crime scene.

Place mouse pointer on the figure to see conclusions of DNA analysis.

Analysis of DNA profile

4.4.6: The human genome project.

Human Genome Project

4.4.7 - 4.4.9: Basic technique used in gene transfer

E. coli is used in gene technology because some of its DNA is found on plasmids (smaller circles of DNA). These plasmids can be removed and cleaved by restriction enzymes at target sequences. DNA fragments from another organism can also be cleaved by the same restriction enzyme, and these pieces can be added to the open plasmid and spliced together by ligase. The recombinant plasmids formed can be inserted into new host cells and cloned. When genes are transferred between species, the amino acid sequence of polypeptides translated from them is unchanged because the genetic code is universal.The basic technique in gene transfer is outlined below.

plasmid cloning link plasmid cloning animation
Basic technique in gene transfer

4.4.10: Potential benefits and possible harmful effects of genetic modification

The benefits and harmful effects of genetic modification in crops.

Genetic modification

4.4.11 & 4.4.12: Cloning using differentiated animal cells

A technique in human cloning

4.4.13: Can you identify some of the ethical issues of therapeutic cloning in humans?

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DNA profile explained
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