Medical Applications

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Medical Applications

Group CChristina, Maria, Alexis, Taylor, Austin

Group Opinions Alexis: I think the use of biotechnology in the medical field is a positive thing because it is allowing scientists to find treatments and medicines to all different kinds of diseases. I think that it should only go so far because it can disrupt the cycle of life. Maria: I think biotechnology plays a big role in a medical field. The discoveries that are made using DNA technology can prevent many genetic disorders and deceases, for example cancer: we loosing 1500 people that die each day in the United States due to cancer. Just imagine how many lives can be saved due to a new discoveries in which biotechnology is used.Taylor: I think thath biotechnology is vital to use in the 21st century. It can help prevent diseases such as cancer, improve the safety of drugs we use daily, and improve the rate at which vaccines are created for deadly viruses. The pros greatly outweigh the cons. Christina:I think biotechnology is both good and bad. If it's well applied, we can cure diseases like cancer, and we could save lot of lives. But is also very dangerous, because it could cause other new diseases, making bacteria more resistant to vaccines and antibiotics.Austin: I think that biotechnology does more harm than good. It can cause genetic mutations and is unnatural and unethical. We cannot continue to "play God" like this because eventually nature will catch up to us. Biotechnology has gone too far.

Medical Applications

Medical biotechnology is an application of biotechnology that touches the lives of individuals every day. Wellness and illness have ties to biotechnology. Advances in biology over the last 20 years have generated new insights into the causes of disease. This new level of understanding has created a tremendous amount of opportunities for the development of new therapies, drugs, diagnostic tools, and research/clinical instrumentation. Medical biotechnology is one of the fastest growing opportunities for employment in the medical research field. Scientists are looking at the genetic causes of diseases, genetic links among family members, and individualized cures. Methods:Examples of discoveries in the field of medical biotechnology include insulin and growth hormone. These proteins are made in large quantities by genetically engineered bacteria or yeast which are grown in large "bioreactors." Some drugs are also made in transgenic plants, such as tobacco. Both discoveries were the result of research studies related to DNA. Many scientists in the medical biotechnology field study genetic engineering. This involves isolating, identifying, and sequencing the human genes to determine their functions. Work in this area may potentially lead to cures for certain diseases, such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s syndrome.Gene pharming-a technology that scientists use to alter an animal's own DNA, or to splice in new DNA, called a transgene, from another species. In pharming, these genetically modified (transgenic) animals are used mostly to make human proteins that have medicinal value. The protein encoded by the transgene is secreted into the animal's milk, eggs, or blood, and then collected and purified. Livestock such as cattle, sheep, goats, chickens, rabbits, and pigs have already been modified in this way to produce several useful proteins and drugs.Gene therapy could be a way to fix a genetic problem at its source. By adding a corrected copy of a defective gene, gene therapy promises to help diseased tissues and organs work properly. This approach is different from traditional drug-based approaches, which may treat symptoms but not the underlying genetic problems.New tests to confirm a diagnosis of a disease or disability-This means being able to accurately tell if the person has a particular condition or not.New tests to predict a disease or disability-This means being able to tell if the person has a condition that will lead to the development of certain symptoms. The most well known form of predictive testing is newborn screening, and this is applied to all new babies for a limited range of conditions for which there is some treatment option.

Three Discoveries 1.It is possible to use DNA technology in the diagnosis of infectious diseases: to use PCR and labeled nucleic acid probes to track down pathogens. The scientists know the sequence of the RNA genome of HIV, so RT-PCR can be used to detect HIV RNA in blood or in tissues. It is also possible to use PCR to diagnose many genetic disorders such as sickle-cell disease, hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, etc.. The people with these disorders can be identifies before the symptoms show up and sometimes even before birth.2. It is possible to use gene pharming as a technology that allow to scientists to alter an animal's own DNA, or to splice in new DNA, called a transgene, from another species. In gene pharming, these genetically modified (transgenic) animals are used mostly to produce useful human proteins and drugs. The first successful products of genetic engineering were protein drugs like insulin, which is used to treat diabetes, and growth hormone.3.It is possible to use the gene therapy to fix a genetic problem at its source. If to add a corrected copy of a defective gene, it could help diseased tissues and organs work properly. While traditional drug-based approaches treat symptoms, gene therapy can deal with genetic problems. Most commonly, gene therapy uses a vector, typically a virus, to deliver a gene to the cells where it's needed. Once it is inside, the cell's gene-reading machinery uses the information in the gene to build RNA and protein molecules.

THE PROS OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN MEDICINE •Biotechnology offers new possibilities in the design and production of drugs and how they can be adapted to each individual and their genetic makeup.•Benefits of biotechnology applications in pharmacogenomics include: development of custom medications, accurate methods of determining proper dosages of medications, improvements in the discovery of new drugs and getting those drugs approved, and better and safer vaccinations.•Modern biotechnology has been making great strides in trying to find treatments for diseases like hepatitis, cancer, arthritis and cardiovascular diseases. •Biotechnology has improved the way drugs and medications are developed and used, and has opened the door to a whole new method of developing treatments by studying genetic traits.•Applications of biotechnology in genetic testing make it possible to determine sex, carrier screening, prenatal diagnostic screening, newborn screening and even forensic and identity testing.•Biotechnology is used in gene therapy for treating and possibly curing acquired and genetic diseases such as AIDS and cancer. It works by using normal genes and supplementing or replacing genes.

THE CONS OF BIOTECHNOLOGY IN MEDICINEGenetic engineering violates natural boundaries of reproduction by crossing genes between unrelated species that would never cross naturally. It adds to the problem of antibiotic resistant bacteria.1.Loss of privacy. Medical and genetic information is more likely to be stored and shared. 2.Discrimination. Private insurers, employers, and governmental entities are more likely to discriminate against people who have genetic or medical anomalies, especially if such information is available in databases. 3.Cloning. Reproductive cloning could create "Frankensteins" or result in eugenic practices. 4.Expensive and advance technologies need to produce and maintain genetically engineered species. 5.Hybrid species created may harbor new strains of diseases or viruses produced from the altered genes.6.Developments in reproductive medicine have provoked another range of questions, arising from the fact that techniques involving in vitro fertilization make it possible to examine and possibly alter the embryo prior to its implantation and development through fetal to the infant stage. This leads to what is known as the designer baby issue; imposing an ideal pattern on an embryo.7.A virus is being used as a vector to get the genes inside, and some fear that even though the virulence factors have been silenced, danger is still at hand. There's also a risk that a gene could land in a spot other than where you want it and cause harm by being expressed in unusual ways. 8.There are conflicts regarding the moral standing of early human life, issues regarding the meaning of personal identity and the potential to become a person.9.Can create great harm-can create drugs that are bad for humans, plants, or animals.10.Consumers could get an allergic reaction to the food when they consume food that is contaminated with the gene or bacteria transmitted through cross-pollination unknowingly.SOURCES


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