Ch.12: Biotechnology


Terms in this set (...)

Modification of organisms, cells, and their molecules for practical benefits
Three major applications
Agricultural, Medical, and Environmental
Improve food/quality nutrition

Increase crop yield

Animal health




Prevention of pollution
Modern Examples of Biotech
Gene cloning to produce GMOs

Reproductive cloning of organisms

Stem Cell technology

CRISPR-gene editing
What is a GMO?
An organism in which the genetic material has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating

Ex: Genes from one organism can be transferred to another
GMO Plants
Golden Rice

Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) corn

Monsanto Roundup Ready Crops
Are GM Crops dangerous?
AAAS: "The science is quite clear: crop improvement by the modern molecular techniques of biotechnology is safe"

European Commission agrees GM crops are safe after 25 years of research

The controversy is the broader impact GMOs have on the environment
Stem Cells
Are not differentiated and have the ability to divide repeatedly
Variety of stem cells
Embryonic, Adult, Umbilical, Amniotic
Number of cells a stem cell can differentiate into
Embryonic Stem Cells (ESCs)
Derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst (5 days old)

They are totipotent and pluripotent

Have the most plasticity

Use to repair damaged tissue or cells that can't heal itself
Where do ESCs come from?
Embryos produced through IVF can be donated

Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer (SCNT)
-Type of cloning
-Avoids using actual ESCs
Concerns about ESCs
ESCs from IVF don't provide an exact genetic match to donor

Some cases of teratoma formation (tumor-like growth) from stem cells
Adult Stem Cells
Cells are derived from various location in the adult body (bone marrow)

Origin of adult stem cells in some mature tissues (brain, heart) is under investigation

Umbilical Cord Stem Cells
Cells collected from the umbilical cord of a newborn

Cells are multipotent and have similar uses as adult stem cells

Process to collect and store a child's cord blood is expensive

-Cord Blood Registry: very expensive

-Public donation
Amniotic Fluid Stem Cells (AFS)
Stem cells make up 1% of amniotic fluid

Don't form tumors

Noncontroversial alternative to ESCs because they don't involve cells that might become embryos

Not many present
Induced pluripotent stem cells
Certain mature cells can be reprogrammed to become pluripotent

Eliminates dependency on ESCs

Problems-very new, can form oncogenes
The resulting embryo can be placed into a surrogate mother while it develops (reproductive cloning)

Stem cells can be harvested from the blastocysts and used (therapeutic cloning)
Regenerative Medicine
Used to grow tissues and organs