This essay will show how the recent advances in technology have improved genetic engineering and gene therapy techniques. Genetic engineering will be explained regarding it’s use for gene diagnosis, drug synthesis and the production of vaccines. The influences of gene therapy on certain illnesses will be researched and social and ethical issues on genetic engineering and its use for therapies will be evaluated. Genetic engineering is the subject of many debates. It involves altering the genotype of an organism. There is some argument about what actually constitutes genetic engineering but, in general, it means taking a gene, or genes, from one organism and inserting them into another. This may be done for a number of reasons. It may be used to produce a desirable characteristic in the target organism, it may be used in order to make the target organism produce useful substances that are easily harvested, it may be used to attempt to treat genetic diseases or it may be used to further research how genes may be controlled. Whatever the reason, the principles involved remain the same. The development of techniques for manipulating and transferring genes has opened up opportunities to use microorganisms to synthesise biological compounds on a large scale, to enhance food production and to introduce treatments for human genetic disorders The procedure for genetic engineering involves inserting genes into microbes. In the first step it is necessary to remove the target DNA from the cell. This can be done using a detergent such as Sodium Dodecyl Sulphate which disrupts the plasma and nuclear membrane. Once this is done, enzymes are used to break down proteins so that the DNA can be safely extracted. In the next step restriction endonuclease enzymes are used to cut the required gene out of the host DNA. However, this is not a random process. Each of these enzymes will recognize a specific sequence of DNA and only cleave th…
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