Understanding the science of biotechnology and genetic engineering

As a registered respiratory therapist, she also has experience in family health, nutrition and pediatric and adult asthma managment. A large corn field. All of these biotechnologically enhanced plant foods have been created to improve, change or dramatically enhance the natural genetic makeup of these plants.

Understanding the science of biotechnology and genetic engineering

Biotechnology Biotechnology is a set of techniques by which human beings modify living things or use them as tools.

Understanding the science of biotechnology and genetic engineering

In its modern form, biotechnology uses the techniques of molecular biology to understand and manipulate the basic building blocks of living things. The earliest biotechnology, however, was the selective breeding of plants and animals to improve their food value.

This was followed in time by the use of yeast to make bread, wine, and beer. These early forms of biotechnology began about ten thousand years ago and lie at the basis of human cultural evolution from small bands of hunter-gatherers to large, settled communities, cities, and nations, giving rise, in turn, to writing and other technologies.

It is doubtful that, at the outset, the first biotechnologists understood the effects of their actions, and so the reason for their persistence in pursuing, for example, selective breeding over the hundreds of generations necessary to show much advantage in food value, remains something of a mystery.

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In addition, Christianity took the view that nature itself has a history, according to which, nature originally was a perfectly ordered garden, but as a result of human refusal to live within limits, nature was cursed or disordered by its creator.

The curse makes nature at once historic, disordered, both friendly and hostile to human life, and open to improvement through human work. These effects fall especially on human agriculture and childbirth, both of which are focal areas of biotechnology.

By the time of Charles Darwin —plant and animal breeders were deliberate and highly successful in applying techniques of selective breeding to achieve specific, intended results.

The work of human breeders helped Darwin see that species are variable, dynamic, and subject to change. Inspired by the success of intentional selective breeding, Darwin proposed his theory of natural selectionby which nature unintentionally acts something like a human breeder.

Biotechnology - Wikipedia

Nature, however, uses environmental selection, which favors certain individuals over others in breeding. The theory of natural selectionof course, led to a profound shift in human consciousness about the fluidity of life, which in turn fueled modern biotechnology and its view that life may be improved.

While Christianity struggled with other implications of Darwinism, it did not object to the prospect that human beings can modify nature, perhaps even human nature. But it was the late twentieth-century breakthroughs in molecular biology and genetic engineering that established the technological basis for modern biotechnology.

Understanding the science of biotechnology and genetic engineering

The discovery that units of hereditary information, or genes, reside in cells in a long molecule called deoxyribonucleic acid or DNA led to an understanding of the structure of DNA and the technology to manipulate it.

Biotechnology is no longer limited to the genes found in nature or to those that could be moved within a species by breeding. Bioengineers can move genes from one species to another, from bacteria to human beings, and they can modify them within organisms.

Within two decades, this discovery opened the pathway to the knowledge of the socalled genetic alphabet or code of chemical bases that carry genetic information, an understanding of the relationship between that code and the proteins that result from it, and the ability to modify these structures and processes genetic engineering.

The decade of the s saw the first transgenic mammals, which are mammals engineered to carry a gene from other species and to transmit it to their offspring, as well as important advances in the ability to multiply copies of DNA polymerase chain reaction or PCR.

The Human Genome Projectan international effort begun around to detail the entire DNA information contained in human cells, sparked the development of bioinfomatics, the use of powerful computers to acquire, store, share, and sort genetic information. As a result, not only is a standard human DNA sequence fully known published in Februarybut it is now possible to determine the detailed code in any DNA strand quickly and cheaply, a development likely to have wide applications in medicine and beyond.Biotechnology is the broad area of biology involving living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or "any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use" (UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Art.

2). Depending on the tools and applications, it often overlaps with the. Applications. Genetic engineering has advanced the understanding of many theoretical and practical aspects of gene function and organization.

Through recombinant DNA techniques, bacteria have been created that are capable of synthesizing human insulin, human growth hormone, alpha interferon, a hepatitis B vaccine, and other medically useful substances. Biotechnology is the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make products, or "any technological application that uses biological systems, living organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or processes for specific use" (UN Convention on Biological Diversity, Art.

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2). Researchers uncovered a key molecular component of mental health disorders involving uncontrollable reactions to stimuli.

Biotechnology, genetic engineering, and recombinant (r) deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) genetic modification methods are techniques that can be very useful in pursuing important improvements in food production and the food supply (e.g., enhancing the nutritional content of specific foods).

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