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Genetic Engineering - Genomics

Genomics:
The total DNA present in the cell is called genome and the study of genes in detail, its location and constitution of genes is called genomics. Evolution process is studied by comparing genome of different organisms.

Human Genome Project:
Actual mapping of human genome project is to study the entire human genetic code that involves 3.1 billion chemical bits. This study was conducted through Official Human Genome Project (HGP) governed by Dr. Franscis Collins and Celera Genomics – a California based Biotechnology Company. They have discovered 40,000 genes. In June 2000, a detailed map of 97% of the human genome with 85% of it complete sequence was produced. This is only the end of beginning of human genomics. Still, now scientists are trying to understand the book of man.

The goal of HGP was to prepare a genetic map of all genes in human being and to get information of nucleotide sequence of each gene. Gene occupies only 3% of DNA. It is not necessary to study a long stretch of DNA but to focus only on a short region which is associated to diseases and causes variation in genome sequence. It will open up the way for the era of personalized medicines, away from one dose-fit all treatment and towards medication designed for specific genetic make-ups. Small genetic difference between individuals is of great medical importance and more than 2000 diseases are caused by defect in one single gene. So study of genetic make-up will held a revolution in new diagnostic tests and eventually in new, better and more effective medication.


Bioinformatics:
The combined study of biotechnology and information technology is called bioinformatics. This uses computing and database technology to describe and analyze the complex information on protein and gene sequence derived from HGP. It helps in searching of new drugs.

Biochips:
Biochips are known as gene chips or DNA chips or micro arrays. It provides a platform for diagnostics and molecular biology over the next couple of decades.

Wafers of glass or silicon covered with tiny droplets of DNA fragment act as genetic probes. Scientist attaches fluorescent tags to the DNA being studied and was the material over the chips which is then scanned with lasers. Because DNA binds strongly with matching DNA, the lasers show up fluorescent pattern’s that map genetic variations indication susceptibility to diseases.

Biochip provides accurate treatment for a child who suffers from a viral infection. It is developed by Takara companies at Kyota in 1986. They have also developed a chip for cancer and established Dragon Genomics which will decode the human genome at a high speed. Dragon hopes to suit its results to design biochips specifically for Asian applications.


DNA Fingerprints:
As the fingerprint of individual person is unique, same way the DNA of an individual is also unique. The constitution of DNA is useful for identification of an individual.

DNA from a specific specimen is isolated and with the help of proper enzyme it is broken into fragments and then the required DNA fragment is separated and collected. After proper processing, source of that DNA is established and on the base of that identify of the person is done.


DNA fingerprint is helpful to identify maternity and paternity and in criminal investigation. 

Self study:
Example-1: What is the goal of Human Genome Project?
a)  To study gene present in DNA
b)  To provide information about the number of gene present in DNA

c)  To prepare genetic map and provide information of nucleotide sequence of each gene.
d)  None of above

Answer: The goal of HGP was to prepare a genetic map of all genes in human being and to get information of nucleotide sequence of each gene.


Example-2: DNA fingerprint is helpful in …………………investigation
a)  social
b)  criminal
c)  ethical
d)  None

Answer: DNA fingerprint is helpful in criminal investigation


Example-3: The combine study of biotechnology and information technology is called …………….
a)  Bioinformatics
b)  Biogenetics
c)  Bionanotechnology
d)  Genomics

Answer: The combine study of biotechnology and information technology is called bioinformatics.

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