by: hailey gough

What is the role of DNA in biotechnology?

DNA-deoxyribonucleic acid, a self-replicating material present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.

Biotechnology-: the use of living cells, bacteria, etc., to make useful products (such as crops that insects are less likely to destroy or new kinds of medicine)

DNA plays a role in biotechnology because in biotechnology they use DNA to make useful products, cloning, and changing DNA.

how is biotechnology used in DNA testing?

Biotechnology is used in DNA testing because they use the DNA for the testing. For example, In criminal investigations,they get DNA from hair, bodily fluids and skin at a crime scene are collected and compared using DNA fingerprinting technology with those obtained from the suspects. To establish paternity, DNA fingerprints of the mother, child and the alleged father are compared.

how is biotechnology used in health industry in making medicines like penicillin and insulin?

Biotechnology i used in health industry because they take peoples DNA and test it with different types of medicines to see how it works and if it gets good results they use it treat different types of diseases and sicknesses. They also do different tests depending on the results, they can make a stronger antibiotic or a weaker antibiotic based on the results.

how is biotechnology used in agriculture?

Agricultural biotechnology- the term used in crop and livestock improvement through biotechnology tools.

Agriculture is used in biotechnology because they take the DNA from a crop and change it to make it more resistant or stronger. They can also do this to some animals not just crops.

what are the potential negative impacts of biotechnology?

  • The cost of production of genetically modified plants and animals are highly costly.
  • May add to the already serious problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria.
  • Environmental consequences of genetic engineering would prove to be widespread and very dangerous.
  • Food created from biotechnology is usually not tested to be very healthy.

how is biotechnology used in environmental clean-up (bioremediation)?

Bioremediation- the treatment of pollutants or waste (as in an oil spill, contaminated groundwater, or an industrial process) by the use of microorganisms (as bacteria) that break down the undesirable substances

Biotechnology is used in environmental clean-up because microbes break down many chemicals in the environment. Sewage treatment plans use microbes to clean the waste water before it enters back into streams, lakes, and groundwater. Another use is bioremediation which is the use of microbes to clean up oil or chemical spills, such as gasoline leaking from a underground tank.

Research centers located in North Carolina where biotechnology is their focus!

Scientists at the North Carolina Research Campus are continually publishing new research findings. Examples include:

•NC A&T Center for Excellence in Post-Harvest Technologies- natural compounds gingerols and shogaols in ginger are potential preventative agents against lung and colon cancer, and 10-gingerol is a potential treatment to prevent anemia caused by chemotherapy or renal disease.

•NC State University Plants for Human Health Institute (PHHI)- compounds in several ginger varieties show promise as a potential treatment for some cancers.

•UNC Greensboro Center for Biomedical Translational Research- zinc can repair and potentially reverse liver damage caused by alcohol-induced fatty liver disease, a risk factor for developing cirrhosis and liver cancer.

•Appalachian State University (ASU) Human Performance Laboratory- walking daily for 45 minutes versus being sedentary can reduce incidences of upper respiratory tract infections by 43 percent.

•ASU and the UNC Chapel Hill Nutrition Research Institute (NRI)- 45-minutes of vigorous exercise increases metabolic rate for 14 hours post-workout, burning an average of 190 additional calories.

•PHHI and Rutgers University - a functional food ingredient that is a concentrated form of phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables that is being tested with populations in Africa to improve their nutrition through a Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges Grant.

•David H. Murdock Research Institute (DHMRI)- probiotic bacteria that can synthesize cartenoids and be delivered in yogurt as a solution for vitamin A deficiency, another Bill and Melinda Gates Grand Challenges Grant project.

•PHHI, Johnston & Wales University, chefs, farmers and campus partner Sensory Spectrum- a new North Carolina strawberry with a longer growing season and better taste and nutrition.

•PHHI, University of North Carolina at Charlotte Bioinformatics and DHMRI- first complete map of the blueberry genome.

•NRI- a mother’s consumption of the nutrient choline during pregnancy is directly related to infant brain development; a genetic pattern in the pathway of the nutrient choline could be used to produce one of the first diagnostic methods for non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; and a mother’s genotype and her consumption of the fatty acid DHA while pregnant is linked to how her child’s memory functions.

•NC A&T- a biomaterial that can be used in packaging and on surfaces to prevent the spread of norovirus, one of the most common causes of foodborne illness in the United States, and the discovery that extracts from bitter melon and sorrel in lab tests can reduce pathogenetic virulence.

North Carolinas national rank in biotechnology

North Carolina is in the #2 spot for national ranking in biotechnology. This is the third year in a row they have been in the #2 spot. They are ranked on the following things: Taxation & regulation, workforce quality and living environment. Texas has topped the survey every year it has been conducted.

Biomedical Engineers

Biomedical engineers use their knowledge of engineering to design and construct systems and products for medical usage.

They are responsible for the improvement of the devices they build, the assurance of their functionality and safety. They may create designs where an in-depth understanding of living systems and of technology is essential, they also are involved in testing of a new products. They can build customized devices for special heath care or research needs. A example of what they do is help a child with cerebral palsy walk by creating an internal medication pump for anti-muscle-spasm drugs.