Biotechnology - Medical


Fact 1

Pharmacogenomics is the study of how the genetic inheritance of an individual affects his/her body's response to drugs. It is a joined word from the words "pharmacology" and genomics

Fact 2

Pharmacogenomics results in More accurate methods of determining appropriate drug dosages

Fact 3

Once the structure of human insulin had been found, in 1955, the cow and pig insulin could be chemically modified to be the same as human insulin

Fact 4

Human insulin is produced in a very controlled and clean environment.

Genetically-engineered bacteria are grown in large stainless steel fermentation vessels. The vessel contains all the nutrients needed for growth.

When the fermentation is complete, the mixture containing the bacteria is harvested. The bacteria are filtered off and broken open to release the insulin they have produced. It is then purified and packaged into bottles for distribution.

All the equipment is kept sterile so that contamination cannot get into the medicine. Regular checks make sure that all the processes are working properly and the insulin meets the required quality.

Fact 5

A breakthrough came in 1972, when Paul Berg explained how to cut and paste DNA from a bacterium into a virus.

Fact 6

One of the first breakthrough uses of this technology was to produce large quantities of insulin, a protein that is needed to treat diabetes.

Fact 7

Better vaccines. Safer vaccines can be designed and produced by organisms transformed by means of genetic engineering. These vaccines will elicit the immune response without the attendant risks of infection. They will be inexpensive, stable, easy to store, and capable of being engineered to carry several strains of pathogen at once.