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Some common genetic
engineering applications
A brief overview
Gene cloning
Creating a gene library may be useful in:• Bacteria may be used as living laboratories for
synthesising vitamins, hormones and
• The nitrogen fixing genes of bacteria may be
transferred to the major food crops to boost
food production without using expensive
Transgenesis –taking genes from one
organism and mixing them with the
genes of another
Transgenesis can be used for
gene therapy which is the alteration of the genetic make-up of an individual organism in an
attempt to correct an inborn error of metabolism, ie. cure inherited diseases.
in toxicology: as responsive test animals (detection of toxicants);
to introduce human genes into other organisms for the study of disease processes;
in molecular biology, the analysis of the regulation of gene expression;
in the pharmaceutical industry, the production of human pharmaceuticals in farm animals
("pharming"); targeted production of pharmaceutical proteins, drug production and product
efficacy testing;
in biotechnology: as producers of specific proteins; and genetically engineered hormones to
increase milk yield, meat production; genetic engineering of livestock in agriculture affecting
modification of animal physiology and/or anatomy; cloning procedures to reproduce specific blood
to speed up the introduction of existing characters into a strain/breed for improvement and
developing animals specially created for use in xenografting, ie. modify the antigenic make-up of
animals so that their tissues and organs can be used in transfusions and transplants.
DNA profiling
Dna profiling
• creating a genetic fingerprint.
DNA profiling is used in a variety of ways
• Establishing proof of paternity or identifying siblings in
• Agriculture and conservation. Eg. Checking that closely
related endangered animals are not mated together.
• To establish how closely related different seed stocks
• To place a suspect at the crime scene in forensic
Genomic analysis
• Where genes are on
chromosomes (Gene
• How genes work and
effect each other at the
DNA level.
• Moving genes
from one
organism to
another .
• Organs donation
without rejection
• Lots of
• See text book
Stem cell research
• Using stem cells. New cells
which have not become
specialised yet.
These can be taken from
adults or embryo’s and may
be used for
• Replacing damaged tissue
grown in the lab
• Studying human
• Testing new drugs
• Screening toxins
• Gene therapy