Study Notes on Biotechnology and its application

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Majorly there are three critical research areas of biotechnology:

  • To provide the best catalyst in the form of improve organism usually a microbe or pure enzyme.
  • Create optimal condition through engineering for a catalyst to act.
  • Downstream processing technology to purify the protein or organic compound.

Biotechnology application in agriculture:

  • Three option that can be thought for increasing food production.
  • Agrochemical best agriculture
  • Organic agriculture
  • Genetically engineering crop based agriculture.
  • Green revolution success in tripling the food supply but yet it was not enough to feed the growing human population.
  • Mainly due to the use of better management practice and use of agrochemicals however the farmers in the developing world agrochemicals are often too expensive and for the increase in yield with existing varieties are not possible using conventional breeding.
  • Plants, bacteria ,fungi and animals whose genes have been altered by manipulation are called genetically modified organism. Genetic modification has:
  • Med crop most tolerant to abiotic stresses like cold ,salt, heat.
  • Reduce Reliance on chemical pesticides.
  • Also help to reduce post harvest losses.
  • Increased efficiency of mineral uses by plant.
  • Enhanced nutritional value of food.
  • Some of the application of biotechnology in agriculture that we will study in details are the production of pest resistant plant which could decrease the amount of pesticides used as example bt toxin is produced by a bacterium called bacillus thuringenesis.

BT cotton:

  • Some strains of bacillus thuringiensis produce protein that kill certain insects searches .
  • This crystal content or toxic insecticidal protein.
  • BT toxin protein exist in in active protection but once and insects in just the inactive toxin it is converted into a active form of toxin due to the alkaline pH of the guard which solubilize the crystal.

  • The activated talks in binds to the surface of midgut epithelial cell and create for that cause cell swelling and licences and gradually cause death of the insect.

Pest resistant plants:

  • A nematode meloidegyne incognitiainfect the root of tobacco plant and causes a great reduction in yield
  • A strategy was adopt to prevent this infection which was based on the process RNA interference in which RNA takes place in all eukaryotic organism as a method off cellular defence
  • This method all molecules that binds to and prevent translation of the m RNA.
  • Using agrobacterium vector nematode specific genes were introduced into the host plant.
  • Introduction of the DNA was such that it produce both sense and antisense RNA in the host cell so that these two are being complementary to each other formed a double standard that initiated RNA and thus silence the specific m RNA of the nematode.
  • As a result the parasite couldn’t survive in a transgenic host expressing specific interfering RNA.

Biotechnological application in medicine

  • Recombinant DNA technology process have made immense impact in the era of health care bye and blink mass production of self and more effective therapeutic drugs.
  • The therapeutic do not induce unwanted immunological response as is common in case of similar products isolated from non human source.

Genetically engineered insulin

  • Insulin used for diabetes was earlier extracted from pancreas of slaughtered cattle and pigs.
  • Insulin consists of two short polypeptide chain a and chain b that are linked together by disulphide bond.
  • Insulin is synthesized as a pro hormone which contain an extra stage called c-peptide which is not present in the mature insulin and is removed during maturation into insulin.
  • The main challenge for production of insulin using our DNA technique was getting insulin assembled into a mature form.
  • Chain a and chain b where produce separately which extracted and combined by creating disulphide bond to form human insulin.


Gene therapy

  • Gene therapy is a collection of methods that allow correction of a gene defect that has been diagnosed in a child or embryo.
  • Genes are inserted into a person cell and tissues to treat a disease.
  • First clinical gene therapy was given in 1990 to a four year old girl with adenosine deaminase deficiency.
  • The disorder is caused due to the deletion of of the gene for adenosine deaminase.
  • these approaches are not completely curative.

Molecular diagnosis:

  • Recombinant DNA technology polymerase chain reaction and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay are some of the techniques that serve the purpose of early diagnosis.
  • Presence of the pathogen like bacteria viruses is normally suspected only when the pathogen has produce a disease symptom.
  • In this time the concentration of pathogen is already very high in the body however very low concentration of the bacteria or virus can be detected by amplification of their nucleic acid by PCR.
  • A single stranded DNA or RNA tag with radioactive molecule is allowed to hybridised to its complementary DNA in a clone of cell followed by detection using autoradiography.
  • Elisa is based on the principle of antigen antibody interaction in which infection by pathogen can be detected by the presence of antigen or by dictating the antibodies synthesized against the pathogen.

Transgenic animals:

  • Those animals that have head there DNA manipulated two poses and express and extra gene are known as transgenic animals as example transgenic rat, transgenic rabbits ,sheep are produced.

normal physiology and development:

  • Transgenic animals can be specifically designed to allow the study of how genes are regulated and how they affect the normal function of the body and its development.
  • By introducing genes from other species that alter the formation of this factor and studying the biological effects that result information is obtained about the biological role of the factor in the body.

Study of disease:

  • So many transgenic animals are design to increase our understanding of how how genes contribute to the development of disease.
  • These are specially made to serve as models for human diseases so that investigation of new treatment for disease is made possible.

Biological products:

  • Medicine required to treat certain human disease can contain biological products but such products are often expensive to make.
  • Transgenic animal that produce useful biological products can be created by the introduction of the portion of DNA which codes for a particular product such as human protein used to treat emphysema.

Vaccine safety:

  • Transgenic mice are being developed for use in testing the safety of vaccines before they are used on humans.
  • If successful and reliable they could replace the use of monkeys to taste the safety of batches of the vaccine.

Chemical safety testing:

  • The procedure is the same as that used for pasting toxicity of drugs this is known as toxicity testing.
  • Toxicity testing is such animals will allow us to obtain result in less time.

Ethical issues:

  • Some ethical standards are required to evaluate the morality of all human activities that might help for living organism.
  • Going beyond the morality of such issues the biological significance of such things is also important so that genetic modification of organism can have unpredictable result when such organism are introduced into the ecosystem.
  • Indian government has set up organisation such as genetic engineering approval committee which will make decision regarding the validity of GM research and the safety of introducing GM organism for public services.
  • Biopiracy is the term used to refer to the use of bio resources by multinational companies and other organisation without proper authorisation from the countries and people concerned without compensatory payment.
  • Traditional knowledge related to bio resources can be exploited to develop modern applications and can also be used to save time effort and expenditure during their commercialization.
  • The Indian parliament has recently cleared the second amendment of the Indian patterns bill that take such issues into consideration including patent terms emergency provisions and research and development initiative.