DNA—short for deoxyribonucleic acid—is the genetic material that dictates the internal and external characteristics of most living organisms. Inherited from one generation to the next, DNA exposes the genetics-caused tendencies behind various phenomena in an organism, such as behavior, appearance, and aging. Primarily located within the cell nucleus (aside from mitochondrial DNA), DNA provides instructions for protein production, allowing our bodies to engage in complex biology processes. The information in DNA is stored in the form of “codes,” or chemical bases. The sequential order of these bases—adenine (A), guanine (G), cytosine (C), and thymine (T)—contain instructions to form what is commonly known as a gene. These genes direct the development, phenotype, and biological strengths and weaknesses of and an organism, ranging from the color of its eyes/hair/fur to its susceptibility to certain types of diseases. Over time, the continuous research and dedication of scientists globally have resulted in the development of DNA related technologies, revolutionizing modern science. In order to the carry on with gene-related discoveries, restriction enzymes are required in order to maintain scientific capabilities. Restriction enzymes (also known as restriction endonuclease)— or proteins that recognize specific nucleotide sequences —are used to “cut” the DNA at specific locations known as restriction sites. Initially evolving in bacteria, the utilization of these enzymes are vital in recombinant DNA technology. Already redefining prior knowledge in medicine, forensics, environmental sciences, and national security, advances in genetic science include developments in cloning, PCR, recombinant DNA technology, gene therapy, DNA microarray technology, and DNA profiling among numerous other therapies and methodologies. Two specific processes especially vital to DNA Engineering field include Gene Splicing and Dna Fingerprinting. Gene splicing is a form of DNA engineering in which pieces of DNA are cut up and spliced together to form recombinant DNA, which is a new sequence of DNA from different genetic sources. Gene Splicing—fairly young in practice— is a very specific process that requires being carried out in eukaryotes before mRNA translation has taken place. In 1972, Paul Berg—a Stanford University scientist—utilized the gene-splicing strategy to create the very first complete recombinant DNA molecules. Berg did this successfully by using restriction enzymes to cut a portion of DNA from a phage ( short for bacteriophage; a virus that invades and replicates within a certain bacterium) and from an SV40 monkey virus into linear molecules. After doing so, Berg added adenine nucleotides to one type of DNA and thymine nucleotides to the other type, soon after using phage exonuclease and terminal transferase to modify the ends of both molecules. When the molecule ends formed a circular hybrid of phage and SV40 DNA, he knew he had stumbled upon an entirely new form of genetic engineering. His work—both innovative and inspiring for those involved in developing DNA involved sciences—was soon published under the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science in 1972. Since then, gene splicing has allowed the manipulation of single-celled organisms to produce useful products including human insulin among many other materials. Gene splicing proves especially important, as it the process that allows a single gene to maximize its coding capacity granting its ability to synthesize distinctly different proteins. An example of gene splicing success involves Bacillus thuringiensis (BT), a bacterium that produces proteins that are fatal to exposed insects. Used as insecticides since the early 1960s, BT proteins are toxic to pests but do not harm humans or most other animals, as concluded by The Environmental Protection Agency. BT containing insecticides are notorious for activating rapidly in sunlight all the while being easily able to be washed away by rain. The success of BT in pesticides was first observed when scientists spliced BT toxin genes into cotton seeds, and noted that the cotton plants were readily able to produce the BT toxin and protected themselves against various pests without needing any other defoliants. DNA fingerprinting, (also called DNA typing) is an additional form of genetic engineering that involves the identifying genetic pattern by isolation of differing elements within the base-pair sequence of DNA. The technique was first surfaced in 1984 when British geneticist Alec Jeffreys noticed unique patterns of minisatellites (tracts of repetitive DNA) from being to being. Shortly thereafter, Jeffrys developed a formal procedure for creating a DNA fingerprint.He began the process by extracting samples of cells containing DNA and purifying them for inspection. He then cut the DNA with restriction enzymes and placed the varying lengths of DNA on a gel before subjecting the gel to an electric current— a process now known as electrophoresis. Through the experimentation, Jeffrys concluded that the shorter the genetic fragment, the more quickly it would move toward the positive pole.  Additionally, Jeffrys subjected double-stranded DNA fragments to a “blotting technique,” in which said fragments are divided into single strands and transferred to nylon sheets. The DNA fragments soon thereafter undergo an autoradiography, or test in which the genetic fragments are exposed to DNA probes (the pieces of synthetic DNA that are radioactive and apt to bind to minisatellites). A piece of X-ray film was then exposed to the genetic fragments, enabling a dark horizontal mark would be produced at any point where the probe was attached. The pattern made by the marks observed could then be analyzed for similarities or differences.A lesser known but useful application of DNA fingerprinting is the confirmation of a Child’s paternal match. In genetics, the closer two people are biologically related to each other, the greater the chance their DNA sequence will be similar. Using restriction enzymes, DNA samples from the mother, potential father and child are spliced into hundreds of species sequences of DNA. The regular process of gel electrophoresis is carried out when the spliced DNA is placed into a gel matrix and an electrical current is applied. When each individual’s pieces of DNA separate along the gel according to size, the gel displays all the patterns in person’s DNA spread from the top to the bottom of the gel in size order.


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