A series of free High School Biology Video Lessons. Here we look at genetically modified organisms, the human genome project and methods of DNA fingerprinting.
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Genetically Modified Organisms
Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are organisms with altered DNA. This is often done by adding a gene from one species to another and is extremely useful in labs for drug creation, agriculture and medical research. Scientists alter DNA by “cutting” the gene using a restriction enzyme, “gluing” it into vector DNA using the enzyme ligase, and inserting the vector DNA into the host cell.
The creation of genetically modified organisms.
Human Genome Project
The Human Genome Project is a research project that attempted to identify every gene found in human DNA and it’s sequence of base pairs. The Human Genome Project produced an incredible amount of data, much of which still needs to be processed, but all of this information is available to genetic researchers and provides insight into our genetic makeup. A look at the human genome project.
PCR - DNA Fingerprinting
Because DNA is unique to an individual, we can use DNA fingerprinting to match genetic information with the person it came from. First, we use the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique to copy a tiny fragment of DNA so that there is enough to use in gel electrophoresis. Gel electrophoresis uses gel and electricity to separate DNA fragments based on size, creating a distinct pattern that represents an individuals genetic information.
The PCR method of DNA Fingerprinting.
RFLP - DNA Fingerprinting
Because DNA is unique to an individual, we can use DNA fingerprinting to match genetic information with the person it came from. The restriction fragment length polymorphism technique (RFLP) “cuts” out genes which are likely to be differentiating factors using restriction enzymes. Are separated by size using gel electrophoresis. The pattern formed will be particularly unique because there is more variability in the genes examined.
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