2 Genetic EngineeringThis involves removing a gene from one organism and placing it in a different species. But why is this done?Perhaps the gene can carry out a very useful function such as the production of a specific protein.GCSE ScienceChapter 1
3 Producing Human Insulin Insulin is a hormone produced by specific cells in the pancreas. Its job is to regulate the blood glucose level within the correct range.Some people cannot produce insulin because their pancreatic cells don’t function properly. This is a form of diabetes called Type 1 Diabetes. Fortunately, this condition can be treated by injecting insulin made by genetic engineering techniques.GCSE ScienceChapter 1
4 The steps of the process: BacteriaHuman cellThe steps of the process:An enzyme acts as a pair of scissors to cut the DNA either side of the required gene.PlasmidrequiredgeneThis gene is then implanted into the bacterial plasmid. This is a circular piece of DNA in the bacteria. It is cut to make room for the required gene. Enzymes do the cutting and also ensure that the required gene is ‘glued’ in place.GCSE ScienceChapter 13. The final stage involves placing the new plasmids into bacteria so that they produce a new protein. As the bacteria reproduce, they produce the protein on a mass scale - human insulin in this case.INSULIN
5 The Advantages of Genetic Engineering In theory, this process could be used to mass produce any protein.In 1993 a blood clotting protein was first produced using genetically engineered sheep cells. Haemophiliacs are treated with an injection of this protein to help their blood clot.GCSE ScienceChapter 1
6 Genetically Modified Crops The first commercial genetically modified (GM) crop was modified so that it was resistant to insects and pests. It was the potato, and it was modified so that it made its own built-in insecticide.GCSE ScienceChapter 1
7 OppositionSome people fear that problems arise from modifying food genetically. The main concern is that the animals eating such crops will transfer antibiotic resistance to the bacteria in their gut.It is feared that this could add to the spread of antibiotic resistance in the world, in turn leading to more superbugs such as MRSA.GCSE ScienceChapter 1
8 GCSE Science Chapter 10 A plant can be modified and DisadvantagesAdvantagesA plant can bemodified andtailored to growin any regionof the world.If developed countriescould grow GMversions of crops,then they wouldn’tneed to buy themfrom developingcountries.GM cropsGM crops couldbe grown toproduce bio fuels,in turn helpingease the fossilfuel crisis.GCSE ScienceChapter 10The fear of increasingantibiotic resistancein the environment.
9 Genetic Engineering – For or Against? There is fierce debate going on, for and against GM crop production and research. For a taste of this debate go to:put GM into the search enginego to:‘What we do’GCSE ScienceChapter 1