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Biotechnology

Biotechnology

Ronnee Yashon and Michael R. Cummings

Biotechnology Ronnee Yashon and Michael R. Cummings MOMENTUM PRESS, LLC, NEW YORK

MOMENTUM PRESS, LLC, NEW YORK

Biotechnology

Copyright © Momentum Press, LLC, 2019.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or any other except for brief quotations, not to exceed 400 words, without the prior permission of the publisher.

First published in 2019 by Momentum Press, LLC 222 East 46th Street, New York, NY 10017 www.momentumpress.net

ISBN-13: 978-1-94664-631-6 (paperback) ISBN-13: 978-1-94664-633-0 (e-book)

Momentum Press Human Genetics and Society Collection

Cover and interior design by Exeter Premedia Services Private Ltd., Chennai, India

First edition: 2019

10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Printed in the United States of America.

Abstract

Just as a little experiment, to open this fascinating and important topic. First, go to your refrigerator or kitchen cabinet. Read the labels of a few things in them. You will see some are marked NON-GMO. If you think you under- stand this labeling, you may be surprised how it ties in to politics, adver- tising, science, medicine, farming, and the future. New methods to edit DNA may bring about cures for genetic conditions, better plant growth, diagnosis, and cure of cancer, as well as learning about the human genome.

Keywords

amino acid; clotting factor; CRISPR; EPO; eugenics; GMO; hemoglobin; hybrid; mitochondria; mRNA; onco mouse; patents; protein; ribosome; survival of the fittest; transcription; translation

Contents

Preface ��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ix The Basics����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������xi

Chapter 1

Introduction

1

Chapter 2

How Is Biotechnology Used?

7

Chapter 3

A New Breakthrough: CRISPR

13

Chapter 4

Genetic Engineering in the Media

15

Chapter 5

GM Technology: What Are Pros and Cons?

17

Chapter 6

Patenting Genes

21

Chapter 7

Other Cases

25

Chapter 8

Ethical Issues: Who Will Decide?

27

Chapter 9

How Will This Influx of Genetic Information Affect Our Future?

29

Chapter 10

The Papaya and the Biologist: The Man Behind the Rainbow

31

Appendix: What Can We Learn from the Past?����������������������������������������35

Epilogue�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������39

References ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������43 About the Authors���������������������������������������������������������������������������������41 Index ���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������45

Preface

Not so long ago, science was only for scientists, and the general public was not included. Our science education was ignored or poorly taught. But today, science rears its ugly head in all our lives and looms over cer- tain parts of our society; many things that no one, but science fiction writers, could foresee. I remember, not so long ago, a presidential election that used human stem cells as an issue. Magazine articles were written, political speeches discussed it, and religion had its opinion too. And, the president-elect (George W. Bush) felt he had to do something about it. But, in areas such as medicine (medical decisions), police work (DNA identification, paternity testing), reproduction (sperm and egg freezing), law (privacy, malpractice), and politics (abortion, global warming), this is only the beginning. This book is about one of the most controversial topics sitting center stage: recombinant DNA aka genetic engineering. Keep science in mind, as we discuss this issue. Questions (in italics) are scattered throughout this chapter and the following chapters. Watch for them, and think about how they may apply to you and other ones.

The Basics

Here is a simple description of how the DNA works:

Cell

It all starts with the cell and its nucleus Nucleus

An organelle that holds chromosomes

Chromosome Are made up of the DNA

Genes are lined along the DNA and code for

Amino Acids The building blocks of proteins

Line up AA in the correct order

And you get

Protein

Proteins are important chemicals in our body

CHAPTER 1

Introduction

First, biotechnology is a medical word. The first thing you do if you want to discover the meaning of a medical word is separate it into its parts. Luckily, our word has only three parts and you already know two of them:

Let us try: Bio---Techno---Ology We all know the meaning of first syllable, Bio. It means life. The last syllable, Ology means study of. The middle part is a little harder; it has many meanings: Techno generally means applying scientific knowledge for practical purposes (medicine, farming, art, etc.). When we define all the parts ----voila!, a meaning appears (well maybe in your brain?). Our word, biotechnology, means a study of how to apply technology to living systems (see Figure 1.1). The manipulation of small particles (such as DNA) has been available for years. The fantastic microscopes and even more fantastic biologists have opened our eyes to some amazing things. So, here we go! First, go back to the page before Chapter 1 called— The basics. This simply shows the mechanism of protein formation. We will discuss this later as we go deeper into the DNA molecule. What Does DNA do? DNA has two main functions in living things:

1. Make perfect copies of itself. This is called replication and occurs in mitotic division, when one cell is making two.

2. Assemble proteins for use in the human body (1,000s). This is called translation.

The protein copies and DNA copies must be 100 percent perfect� What if they are not perfect?

2

BIotECHNoLoGY

Biotechnology Genetic engineering New types of plants, animals Production of human proteins Genes are inserted
Biotechnology
Genetic
engineering
New types of
plants, animals
Production of
human proteins
Genes are
inserted or
Gene inserted
turned on
in bacteria
or off
If inserted
Humalin*
Human
they can
human insulin
clotting factor
come from
Diabetes
Same type of
animal or
plant
Another
Hemophilia
species
Example:
Example:
Turn off a
gene to make a
plant immune
to a virus
Place the
human insulin
gene in a
bacteria.

Figure 1.1 What is biotechnology?

Source: this chart shows what can be done with biotechnology. Follow it down to “genetic engi- neering” and notice how there are two main uses at this time. It will soon EXPLoDE!

Steps of Replication

First: The helical DNA (see Figure 1.2) splits into two strands. Second: Each half finds the matching triplset to its pairs, from the fluid within the nucleus and makes a clone of itself.

INtroDUCtIoN

3

3’ 5’ 5’ G C G C T A T A A T A T
3’
5’
5’
G
C
G
C
T
A
T
A
A
T
A
T
A
T
A
C
G
Sugar-phosphate
G
C
backbone
G
C
C
G
G
C
C
G
A
T
A
C
G
C
G
A
T
A
T
5’

Figure 1.2 (a) Flat DNA. (b) Helical DNA (double helix)

Steps of Protein Synthesis

DNA contains the code for all amino acids needed to create all human proteins (proteins can have as many as 1,000 amino acids). Protein synthesis: Follow along with Figure 1.3.

as many as 1,000 amino acids). Protein synthesis: Follow along with Figure 1.3. Figure 1.3 Protein

Figure 1.3 Protein synthesis in a cell

4

BIotECHNoLoGY

Nucleus showing the complete DNA. (#1)

DNA splits and converts into messenger RNA (mRNA). (#2)

Messenger RNA. (#3)

Messenger RNA moves through cytoplasm and out of the nucleus. (#4)

Messenger RNA in cytoplasm. (#5)

Messenger RNA moves to the ribosome that reads its the code. (#6)

Places the correct amino acid in the chain. (#7)

The mRNA moves to the ribosome that reads three bases (triplet) at a time and presents the amino acids in order. A mRNA is produced and takes the code, out of the nucleus into the cytoplasm where a specific protein can be made. This is called translation (translating a code hidden in the messenger DNA). Ribosomes read the code and place the correct amino acids in order. An example of a few codes:

Amino Acid: Glycine (AA) Amino Acid: Lysine (AA)

What can go wrong? Any mix up in the amino acid position can alter the protein being produced. As little as one mistake on mRNA (in translation), no matter how small, can cause a giant effect in the protein itself, and therefore in the living thing. Example: The DNA strand that codes for hemoglobin is a complex gene. Statistics: Hemoglobin strand has 31 amino acids, which have to be in perfect order. One mistake (CTC normal code) becomes CAC (sickle cell anemia). The normal form of the sickle cell gene creates the protein hemoglo- bin (If mutated, this gene will lower the amount of hemoglobin, and less oxygen will get to the cells some of you recognize this); it is the protein that carries oxygen in the red blood cells.

GGA triplet code in normal DNA AAA code in normal DNA

INtroDUCtIoN

5

But what if we could cut the “wrong gene” and replace it with a healthy one?

This is only one of the futures of biotechnology, some being done now, and many more to come. Keep reading.

Index

American Eugenics Society, 35 Amgen Inc� v� Chugai Pharmaceuticals,

22–23

animal manipulations, 10 Association for Molecular Pathology v� Myriad Genetics, Inc�, 23–24

bacterial manipulations, 10 biotechnology CRISPR in, 13–14 definition of, 2 genetic manipulation versus cross breeding, 7–8 overview, 1–5 uses of, 7–11 See also genetic engineering; genetic modification (GM) Brave New World (Aldous Huxley), 29 BRCA1 genes, 23–24 BRCA2 genes, 23–24

cancer, 18 Chugai Pharmaceuticals, 22 CRISPR. See clustered interspaced short palindromic repeats Clarke, Arthur C, 29 clustered interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR), 13–14, 29–30 Cornell University, 31 cross breeding genetic manipulation versus, 7–8 in plants and animals, 8

da Vinci, Leonardo, 29 Diamond v� Chakrabarty, 22 DNA, functions, 1 Doudna, Jennifer, 14

Eigsti, O. J., 7 Eugenics, 35 Eugenics Record Office, 37

fitter families, 35–36 flat DNA, 3

genes, patenting, 21–24 genetic engineering ethical issues in, 27–28 in media, 15–16 genetic manipulation versus cross breeding, 7–8 genetic modification (GM) future developments, 30 in papaya, 31–33 technology, 17–20 Genetics Institute (GI), 22 Gonsalves, Dennis, 31

helical DNA, 2–3 human blood, 30

mRNA, 4 Myriad Genetics, 24

National Geographic Magazine, 29

papaya with PRSV, 31–32 patenting genes, 21–24 plant manipulations, 9 protein synthesis, 3–5

rainbow papaya, 31–32 replication, 1, 2–3 ribosomes, 4 ringspot virus (PRSV), 31

social media, genetic engineering in,

15–16

“The Study of Human Heredity,”

37

translation, 1, 4

46

INDEX

U.S. Patent Office (USPO), 21, 22 U.S. Supreme Court Amgen Inc� v� Chugai Pharmaceuticals, 22–23 Association for Molecular Pathology v� Myriad Genetics, Inc�, 23–24

decisions, 24 Diamond v� Chakrabarty, 21–22 other cases, 25–26 US sterilization laws, 38

The White Plague (Clarke), 29