What is Biotechnology ?What is Biotechnology ? US Congress, 1984: Any technique that uses living organisms, or parts of organisms, to make or modify products, to improve plants or animals, or to develop microorganisms for specific uses The application of scientific and engineering principles to the processing of materials by biological agents to provide goods and services A less fearful, emotive term used in place of genetic engineering.
extension.usu.edu What is Genetic Modification ?What is Genetic Modification ? The artificial recombination of nucleic acid molecules in the test tube, their insertion into a virus, bacterial plasmid, or other vector system, and the subsequent incorporation of the chimeric molecules into a host organism in which they are capable of continued propagation. The deliberate, controlled manipulation of the genes in an organism, with the intent of making that organism better in some way. Genetic engineering or modification is a type of biotechnology
extension.usu.edu Genetic ModificationGenetic Modification We have been genetically modifying plant and animal species for millennia
extension.usu.edu Teosinte to CornTeosinte to Corn
extension.usu.edu Genetic ModificationGenetic Modification We have been genetically modifying plant and animal species for millennia Traditional genetic modification – cross-breeding or hybridization
Punnett SquarePunnett Square Basic tool or predicting the possible traits of the offspring Hitchhikers thumb, attached or detached earlobes, left or right thumb on top when hands crossed Not all traits are this straight-forward Eye color, the shape of your face, blood type, straight or curly hair
extension.usu.edu Problems with Cross-BreedingProblems with Cross-Breeding The new generation may not express the desired trait Takes many generations to build up a desired trait Only closely-related species can be cross-bred
extension.usu.edu Genetic ModificationGenetic Modification New genetic modification – genetic engineering Timeline DNA from unrelated species can be inserted Currently, only used in plants & microbes 1994 – First approved GM food 2009 – 80 GM crops are approved by the FDA for human and/or animal food
extension.usu.edu GM Foods are Highly Scrutinized FDA must review science & safety, and determines whether the food is approved USDA reviews regulatory status of genetically engineered plants (in addition to FDA) Any plant containing and insecticidal gene is also reviewed by the EPA for safety
extension.usu.edu FDA Review ProcessFDA Review Process Does the food contain genes from known allergenic sources? Does the food contain genes from known toxic sources? Are the concentrations of natural toxic substances increased? Is the fat, cholesterol, or other nutrient content changed? Does the food contain a substance that is new to the food supply?
What is DNAWhat is DNA DNA is the recipe for a living organism Template for making proteins, which then serve a specific function DNA is packaged together very efficiently to make chromosomeschromosomes We are getting better at determining which genes code for a specific protein
extension.usu.edu What is rDNA?What is rDNA? rDNA has been split apart and recombined This can be done by nature Equal amount of DNA from each parent Most of the genetic material is a random combination of both sets