Like all other techniques of biotechnology, Recombinant DNA technology has also influenced human life by developing products which are of great benefit to the human body such as insulin, human growth hormones, antibiotics and monoclonal antibodies. It has been an important tool for the research and for the treatment of diseases. Many diagnostic methods have been developed by using recombinant DNA technology.
Mutations are the cause of genetic diseases like cystic fibrosis and acquired diseases like cancer. Recombinant DNA technology uses the method of cloning and identifies that which gene is mutated. To replace the defected gene, a healthy gene of the same function is taken and multiple copies are made through cloning, then the defected gene is replaced with that healthy gene and gene will start function in a normal ay again.
Cancer is a dangerous disease because it can cause death of a person. Even if it is removed through the human body by different therapies, there are chances that it may appear again in any other part of the body. Scientists are trying to analyze the difference between the cancerous and normal cells and trying to figure out through recombinant DNA technology that which is the gene in the genome which triggers the uncontrolled growth of cancer cells and the ways in which these genes are activated or inactivated.
Recombinant DNA is the source of injecting genetic material directly into the body through vaccines. The genetic material is packed in the form of plasmid or vector and taken from foreign antigen and is targeted by vaccines. When the recombinant DNA is injected in the body through muscles, cells take that foreign gene and start producing the protein for which the gene has been inserted through plasmids. These proteins stimulate the immune response and immune system targets the specific antigen. If the DNA vaccines are used for treating diseases, they are less costly and show good results.
Infertility is a major issue in the world. Women who are infertile, recombinant DNA technology has enabled the scientists to produce hormones which make the woman fertile. Hormones like recombinant luteinizing hormone (r-hLH), recombinant human follicle stimulating hormone (r-hFSH), and recombinant human chorionic gonadotropin (r-hCG) are used to improve the function of ovulation and follicular maturation which are necessary for fertilization.
Recombinant DNA has played an important role in the production of genetically modified plants. If the recombinant DNA is present in the plant genome, it makes the plant to develop resistance against insects and herbs. For example, BT corn is a genetically modified crop which has the gene of bacillus thuringiensis which develops insecticides in the crop. So when an insect eats the crop, it will starve and will die automatically. Some plants have the quality of surviving in very harsh environments where there is not proper nutrition and water for them. Similarly now scientists have developed plants using recombinant DNA and are drought resistant. Animals have been genetically modified by inserting a hormone bovine somatotropin in the milk of the cow using bacterial plasmid. This hormone increases the production of milk in cows.
6) Treatment of Diabetes:-
Beside cancer, recombinant DNA has been used to treat other diseases also. To treat the disease of diabetes, insulin is produced using recombinant DNA technology. It is now possible to produce insulin in the laboratory which is similar to the human insulin produced by pancreas. So there is no danger in using insulin made by recombinant DNA in the diabetic patients. Other diseases can also be treated by using recombinant DNA technology but the work is still under the process.
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