Work through the activity and answer the following questions. Submit the Answers within the Homework Module to receive credit.
I am a biotechnologist, and I teach students how to modify organisms so that they have new traits. For example, in molecular genetics, we insert a jellyfish gene into bacteria so that the bacteria will fluoresce (glow). The procedure that we follow is the same that is shown in this activity.
To add a trait (characteristics) to an organism, we often add the trait on a small, circular ring of DNA called a plasmid. Work through pages 1-5 of the activity “How Can Antibiotic-Resistant Plasmids Transform E. coli?” to learn about this process.
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1. When the host organism (E.coli in our activity) takes up foreign DNA and expresses it, this is called _____________. (2 pts)
2. What characteristic (trait) is being given to the E.coli? (2 pts)
3. What type of E.coli cells are more likely to take up a plasmid? (regarding the growth of the cells) (2 pts)
4. From page 6, give the correct order of the steps of transformation. (10 pts)
5. On page 7, there was E.coli growth on 3 plates. Name the 3 plates and describe the amount of growth on each (which had the most, were there multiple plates with a lot of growth or a small amount of growth?) (6 pts)
6. Use page 8 to answer the following:
6a. What label should be on plate 1? (2 pts)
6b. What label should be on plate 4? (2 pts)
7. Use page 9 to answer the following:
7a. On which plate do only transformed cells grow? Explain your answer (5 pts)
7b. Which of the plates is used as a control to show that nontransformed E.coli will NOT grow in the presence of kanamycin? Explain your answer (5 pts)
8. Use page 10 for the following: There are 3 antibiotics named in this activity: ampicillin, kanamycin and tetracycline. Based on the 4 plates in this activity, which antibiotic is present in the transformed cells? Explain how you determined this. (6 pts)
9. Genetically modified organisms (GMO) are highly controversial. Some save lives daily – Humulin is a drug that provides human insulin to individuals with type I diabetes. It is made inside bacteria that express the human insulin gene that is on a plasmid. It is the best and safest source of insulin. Other GMOs are blamed for the decrease of biodiversity (number of different species) and health issues in humans. Whether the “cons” are real remains controversial. Some have been supported. Others appear to be people making up stories to try to stop the process.
Overall, genetic modification is done using the procedure you just saw. Consider the pros and cons of using this technology. Go to Chapter 12: DNA Technology and Genomics and watch the ABC News: Genetically Altered Salmon.
9a. Provide 2 benefits (pros) and 2 detriments (cons) of the application of this technology (4 pts)
9b. Describe how you feel about using this technology. Is it great, and we should use it as much as possible? Is it awful, and it should be avoided at all costs? Or, is the answer somewhere in-between? Explain your answer (4 pts)