Saturday, 3 March 2012

5.13a Recombinant DNA

Describe how plasmids and viruses can act as vectors, which take up pieces of DNA, then insert thiis recombinant DNA into other cells.

Plasmids are find in bacterial cells and are a ring of DNA and are particularly small carrying little DNA.

Viruses have a protein shell called a capsid and inside there would be a Nucleic acid (of which contains either DNA or RNA).

The human chromosome is made of DNA and in our example, we will talk about the gene which codes for the production of the protein, insulin (hormone controlling blood sugar levels).

  1. The restriction enzyme would be selected to cut the DNA, leaving us with the gene of insulin separately.
  2. Having cut the gene, the plasmid will also be cut with the same restriction enzyme.
  3. This leaves the plasmid ring structure broken, the human insulin gene is then inserted into the plasmid.
  4. This will leave our plasmid with the human gene inserted and is then necessary to apply ligase enzyme which will join the DNA.
  5. This combination of the human gene, and the plasmid is known as recombinant DNA.

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