Genetic Engineering

Mind Map by Caoimhín, updated more than 1 year ago
Created by Caoimhín almost 7 years ago


GCSE Biology Mind Map on Genetic Engineering, created by Caoimhín on 05/21/2013.

Resource summary

Genetic Engineering
1 Uses Enzymes to Cut and Paste Genes
1.1 Basic idea is to copy a useful gene from one organism's chromosome into the cells of another...
1.1.1 1) Useful gene is ''cut'' from one organism's chromosome using enzymes EcoR1
1.1.2 2) Enzymes are then used to cut another organism's chromosome and the insert the useful gene ''Glued'' together by Ligase
1.1.3 3) Scientists use this method to do all sorts of things For example, the human insulin gene can be inserted into bacteria to produce human insulin
2 Genes can be Transferred into Animals and Plants
2.1 The same method can be used to transfer useful genes into animals and plants at the very early stages of their development
2.1.1 This means they'll develop useful characteristics: 1) Genetically Modified (GM) crops have had their genes modified e.g. to make them resistant to viruses, insects or herbicides 2) Sheep have been genetically engineered to produce substances, like drugs, in their milk that can treat human diseases 3) Genetic disorders like cystic fibrosis are caused by faulty genes. Scientists are trying to treat these disorders by inserting working genes into suffers. this is called gene therapy.
3 Controversial Topic
3.1 It is an exciting new area in science which has the potential for solving many of our problems (e.g. treating diseases, more efficient food production etc.) but not everyone thinks it's a great idea.
3.2 There are worries about long-term effects of genetic engineering - that changing a person's genes might accidentally create unplanned problems, which could then be passed on to future generations.
4 It's the same as GM Crops - There Are Pros and Cons
4.1 1) Some people say that growing GM crops will affect number of weeds and flowers (and so the population of insects) that live in and around the crops - reducing farmland biodiversity
4.2 2) Not everyone is convinced that GM crops are safe. People are worried they may develop allergies to the food - although there's probably no risk for this than for eating usual foods.
4.3 3) A big concern is that transplanted genes may get out into the natural environment
4.3.1 For example, the herbicide resistance gene may get picked up by weeds, creating a new 'superweed' variety
4.4 4) On the plus side GM crops can increase yield of crop, making more food.
4.5 5) People living in developing nations often lack nutrients in their diet. GM crops could be engineered to contain the nutrient that's missing.
4.5.1 For example, they're testing 'golden rice' that contains beta-carotene - lack of this substance can cause blindness
4.6 6) GM crops are already being grown elsewhere in the world (not in UK) often without any problems
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