Bio 5: Biotechnology and gene technologies Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Bio 5: Biotechnology and gene technologies Deck (46):

Asexual reproduction

Can be completed it sexual fails
Offspring have same genetic info

No genetic variation so there is weakness


Vegetative propagation

The production of structures in an organism that can grow into new individual organisms. These offspring contain the same genetic information as the parents and so are clones of the parent.


Tissue culture

The separation of cells of any tissue type and their growth in or on a nutrient medium. In plants undifferentiated callus tissues is grown in nutrient medium containing plant hormones that stimulate development of the complete plant.


Splitting embryos

Eggs and sperm is collected fork individuals that have the desirable characteristics ( eg high mild yield). It is fertilised in vitro. The cells grow to be an embryo and then split. These embryos are then implanted into multiple surrogates.


Nuclear transfer

Mammary cells are removed from an udder of a sheep
An ovum is removed from another
A mammary cell with a nucleus and the now enucleated egg are joined by electrofusion. This transfers the nucleus of the first sheep into the cytoplasm of the second.
It is put into culture, the early embryo is recovered and implanted into a ewe



High value animals
Rare animals preserved
Genetically modified animals

Not always produced with welfare in mind
Hard to cope with environmental changes
Unclear of their future health


Non reproductive cloning

Replace tissue or organs
Eg- regeneration of heart muscle
Repair nervous tissue
Repair spinal cord

No rejection if from own tissue
End of donor lists?
Less dangerous
Any cell type - totipotent



Technology based on biology and involves exploitation of living organisms or biological processes to improve agriculture, food science, medicine or industry


Production of food

Cheese and yoghurt: lactobacillus changes the flavour and texture of milk

Mycoprotein: growth of fungus in culture. Then separated and processed as food


Drugs and pharmaceuticals

Penicillin: fungus penicillin is grown in culture, produced antibiotic is a by product of metabolism

Insulin: E. coli modified to carry insulin gene. Secrets insulin


Enzymes and chemicals

Pectinase: fungus secretes pectinase

Calcium citrate: fungus makes citric acid as a by product of metabolism


Microorganisms in biotechnology

Grow rapidly
Often make chemicals that can be harvested
Can be genetically engineered
Grow well in low temps
Can be grown anywhere
Tend to generate more pure products
Can grow using "waste" or "toxic" materials



The growth of microorganism a. This make be a single species or a mixture of species.


Primary metabolites

Substances produced by an organism as part of its normal growth; they include amino acids, proteins, enzymes, nucleic acids, ethanol and lactate.


Secondary metabolites

Substances produced by an organism that are not part of its normal growth.
The antibiotic chemicals produced by a number of microorganism are almost all secondary metabolites
Normally after main growth period


Fermentation conditions

Type and time of addition of nutrient
Oxygen concentration


Batch culture

Starter population mixed with a specific quantity of nutrient, then allowed to grow for a fixed period. No further nutrient is added. At the end the tank is emptied


Continuous culture

Nutrients are added at intervals, and products are removed at intervals too.


Aseptic techniques

Any measure taken at any point in a biotechnological process to ensure that unwanted microorganisms do no contaminate the culture that is being grown or the products that are extracted


Immobilisation ( of enzymes )

Any technique where enzyme molecules are held, separated from the reaction mixture. Substrate molecules can bind to the enzyme and the products can go back to the reaction mixture, leaving the enzymes in place.


Immobilisation: adsorption

Mixed with immbolising support and bind due to the hydrophobic and ionic links.
adsorbing agents: clay, resins


Immobilisation: covalent bonding

Enzymes covalently bond to an insoluble matieral (eg clay) using a cross linking agent. Very strong.


Immobilisation: Entrapment

Trap enzymes in gel beads or cellulose fibre network. Not being bound to something leaves their active sites free, but reaction rates are reduced.



Study of the whole set of genetic information in the form of DNA base sequences.


Sequencing genomes

- Genome is mapped, to see which part it came from
- Sample are sheared into 100,000 base pairs
- Placed into BACs and put in E.Coli
- Cells grow, and many clones are made



Bacterial artificial chromosomes


Comparing genomes

- Identification of important proteins found in all
- Shows evolutionary relationships
- Modelling effects of changes
- Identify disease causing sequences
- Show risk of disease



Separation of DNA by length
-DNA treated with restriction enzymes to cut them
-Put into wells at -ve electrode end of gel
- Immersed in buffer and electric current passed through for a fixed time
-DNA is -ve charged, so moved toward positive
-Shorter lengths more faster than longer, so therefore move further
-Can be shown by a staining dye


DNA Probes

Short single stranded piece of DNA, complementary to the section being investigated
It is labeled with a radioactive marker or a fluorescent marker
They anneal to the section of DNA



Anti-parallel backbone strands
5' (prime) end and a 3' (prime) end
Grows from 3' end only
Base pair rules



Short single stranded DNA sequences.
Needed as PCR cannot work with only one strand of DNA.


PCR (polymerase chain reaction)

-DNA mixed with nucleotides and DNA polymerase
-Heated to 95C, breaks hydrogen bonds holding strands together
-Primers are added
-Reduced to 55C, allowing primers to anneal
-DNA polymerase can now bind
-Temp raised to 72, optimum for DNA polymerase to extend
-New double strand made


Automated sequencing

A modified nucleotide is added, the polymerase enzyme will stop when it reaches this. As the base of the modified nucleotide is known they know the complementary strands bases. This is repeated.


Restriction enzymes

They cut the DNA at specific points. They cut at restriction sites. This is normally catalysing a hydrolysis reaction breaking the sugar-phosphate backbone in different places. This gives a staggered end, leaving out a sticky end.


Sticky end

Formed when DNA is cut. It is a short run of unpaired exposed bases.


DNA ligase

Catalyses a condensation reaction which joins the backbones together



Contains DNA that has been added to its cells as a result og genetic engineering


Bacterial conjugation

Genetic material may be exchanged. Bacteria can do this themselves and this can result in antibiotic resistance spreading quickly.


Somatic Gene therapy: augmentation

Adding genes. Treats diseases that are caused by a faulty allele leading to loss of a functional polypeptide.


Somatic Gene therapy: Killing cells

Cancers can be treated by eliminating the cells


Germline gene therapy

Each early cell in an embryo is a stem cell. It could potentially become a new individual, therefore germline.
Engineering a gene into a sperm, egg, or early embryos means every cell has a copy of the new gene.


Somatic: issues

-Introduced into target cells, tecniques needed
-Short lived, repeated
-Difficulties getting allele into genome in functioning state
-Restricted to patient


Germline: issues

-All cells has it
-Unethical (unknown if it has worked,or not, or changed something else)
-Can be passed on child



Small spheres of lipid bilayer containing a functioning allele. They can pass through the lipid bilayer of cells and therefore act as vectors.



Transplanting of cells, tissues or organs between animals of different species



Transplanting of cells, tissues or organs between animals of the same species