Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Understanding Engineering Genes

Once the DNA has been obtained, it is necessary to cut the DNA into pieces to be used for the engineered gene. Restriction enzymes are used for cutting the DNA at specific sites. Most restriction enzymes cut the DNA into diametric fragments, as opposed to symmetric fragments. That cut leaves the DNA double helix with a small sequence of nonpairing bases that overhang on the end. These regions of DNA are generally used for ligation, or joining with other DNA fragments. DNA fragments cleaved with a single restriction enzyme or with complementary enzymes can be ligated to each other because the overhanging regions are complementary and will bind together. The ligation of fragments is facilitated with addition of the enzyme DNA ligases. The true art of genetic engineering is putting together the parts of puzzle, where each DNA fragment must be placed in right order and orientation so the gene is functional. As scientists know the sequences of genes encoding important traits or proteins, the information is used to engineer genes that can be used in a variety of applications.

Genetic engineers are able to manipulate tiny pieces of DNA with enzymes to create new genes and DNA sequences used in biotechnology. Relatively simple tools in a small laboratory are needed for these engineers to practice their craft. The products that result from these methods can then be used in many applications of biotechnology.

Tags: Bio Technology, Bio Genetics, Genetic Engineering

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