Running Header: Genes
May 12, 2005
Biotechnological Processes: Somatropin Harvesting
The use of living organisms, or organic substances, to develop new products or processes is not something new. Genetic manipulation has been performed for thousands of years. This is seen in the modern dog. They are countless variation of the canine breed. Humans have bread dogs together to obtain desirable properties, such as a strong bite, or a certain colour. It is not until recently that the genetic manipulation is being performed at molecular level. Genetic manipulation may seem complex, but are essentially simple manipulation of the genetic code casing profound results.
Take for example somatropin, a genetically engineered version of the human growth hormone somatotropin (Di Giuseppe, et al, 293) . Before the production somatropin, somatotropin was extracted from the pituitary of cadavers, a procedure that risks the spread of infectious diseases, such as Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (Di Giuseppe, et al, 293).
Somatropin is used to treat growth deficiencies caused by genetic mutations or diseases (Di Giuseppe, et al, 293), and is used illegally by athletes to gain muscle.
The procedure used to harvest somatropin is quite simple in overall context. All that is needed is the primary human growth hormone genes, a gel electrophoresis a biological sieve of sorts, a plasmid, and E. coli bacteria (Di Giuseppe, et al, 294). The gel electrophoresis is used to extract the purified human growth hormone gene. After the gene is extracted, it is ligated using DNA ligase. An enzyme the joins complementary strands by forming the phosphodiester bonds of the DNA backbone (Di Giuseppe, et al, 289). The gene is ligated to a plasmid, circular DNA that can be used as a vector to deliver the growth gene inside the E. coli. The...