study island – biotechnology

In the 1920’s, a woman by the name of Anna Anderson claimed to be the Grand Duchess Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II. However, DNA testing confirmed that she was not who she claimed to be. Which of the following uses of biotechnology does this example best demonstrate?
Biotechnology allows for determining the degree of relatedness among individuals.

The first commercial application of genetic engineering was the use of bacteria to make insulin, a medicine needed by diabetics. Before the use of genetically-engineered bacteria, insulin had to be harvested from the pancreases of slaughtered animals.
How has genetic engineering most likely improved the lives of diabetics?
It has made insulin cheaper and more readily available.

A vaccine is a substance that contains all or part of a noninfectious version of a disease-causing organism. When the vaccine is administered to a person, the person’s immune system attacks the noninfectious version of the organism and learns to recognize its surface proteins. The next time the immune system comes in contact with the same surface proteins, it has a defense already prepared in order to respond quickly to the invading organism. In this way, a vaccine gives people immunity to the disease-causing organism.

Vaccines can be life-saving, but there have been a few cases of people catching a disease from the administered vaccine.

How might genetically engineered organisms solve this problem?

They could make it cheaper and easier to administer vaccines

Some types of crops have been genetically-engineered to resist certain types of diseases and pests. How might these genetically-engineered crops impact the environment?
They will help the environment by allowing farmers to use fewer pesticides.

In 1990, scientists at the National Institutes of Health used gene therapy to try to treat a 4-year-old girl suffering from severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID). This genetic disease made her extremely susceptible to infections. The scientists used a virus to inject normal genes into the girl’s immune system cells.The experiment was moderately successful, and the girl’s health improved but only for short periods of time.

If this form of gene therapy could be fine-tuned, how would it impact society?


Scientists have genetically-engineered some strains of bacteria to consume toxins, such as oil, and to excrete the toxins as harmless substances.

How might these bacteria most likely impact society?

They will enable people to easily clean up spilled pollutants in the environment.

Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating genes for practical purposes.Today, scientists have genetically engineered many types of organisms including crop plants.

Which of the following is a current benefit gained from genetically engineered crops?

Some food staples, such as rice, contain more nutrients.

When the Human Genome Project began, most geneticists thought humans had approximately 120,000 genes. However, the scientists working on the Human Genome Project discovered to their surprise that this number was inaccurate.

How many genes did the scientists actually discover?

20,000 to 25,000

Just like actual fingerprints, DNA fingerprints are unique to most individuals (other than identical twins). Today, most police departments in the United States use DNA fingerprints as a criminal investigation tool.

What is another application of DNA fingerprints?

identifying the father of a child

The Human Genome Project began in October 1990 and was completed in 2003.What was the major goal of the Human Genome Project?
to sequence all the base pairs that compose human DNA

DNA can be recovered from skin cells, hair follicles, and body fluids. The recovered DNA can be used to make DNA fingerprints.

How do DNA fingerprints help police?

DNA can be used to identify whether a person was present at a crime scene.

A new species has been discovered. Scientists have obtained a DNA profile of the organism and are comparing it to the profiles of other known species.

The new species is most closely related to the


The diagram below shows DNA profiles for four species.

By comparing the DNA profiles, scientists can learn

whether the species are related.

Researchers have genetically engineered bacteria to produce bovine growth hormone. This hormone can be given to cows in order to increase their milk production.
How will increasing a cow’s milk production most likely impact society?
Milk can be supplied to more people using fewer animals.

Until recently, looking through detailed records on family history of disease was the only way to try to avoid certain genetic conditions in some purebred dogs, such as a bleeding disorder called von Willebrand’s Disease. What technological advances may have reduced the need for this process?
development of canine testing for genetic disease carriers

A karyotype is a complete set of chromosomes that constitutes the entire genome of a species.

The image above shows the presence of three copies of chromosome 21 in a human’s karyotype. This person must have

Down’s syndrome.

The Human Genome Project has determined the sequence of base pairs in the entire human genome.How does this project directly impact our understanding of genetic diseases?
It makes it easier to find the genes causing diseases.

In 2003, the Human Genome Project finished mapping the genes of all the chromosomes found in humans. Which of the following fields of science will most likely benefit the most from the information gathered by the project?
molecular medicine

A karyotype is an image of an organism’s genes.
An example is shown below.

By grouping images of a fetus’ homologous pairs together and arranging them by shape and size, scientists can easily see whether the baby has

down’s syndrome

Genetic engineering is the process of manipulating genes for practical purposes.

How could genetic engineering most likely benefit people with genetic diseases in the future?

Genes causing diseases could be repaired through the use of recombinant DNA.

People suffering from diabetes need to be injected with insulin in order to keep their blood glucose levels stable. In the early 1900s, insulin for diabetes patients was extracted from slaughtered cows and pigs. However, in the 1970s, genetic engineering technology allowed scientists to engineer a bacterium to produce human insulin.

How does this new form of biotechnology most likely benefit society?

Patients with diabetes now have a steady, inexpensive supply of insulin available.

Many genetic disorders have mild, moderate, and severe disease forms that are identified by speed of symptom progression. As disease features may worsen over several years, the severity of the disease cannot always be determined in childhood.

Which of the following technological advances would help doctors determine whether an individual has the most severe form of a disease in childhood?

the discovery of a specific gene mutation associated with the severe disease form

Today, genetically-engineered crops are becoming more common. Which of the following is a likely possible negative impact of the use of genetically-engineered crops?
Genetically-engineered genes can be transferred to wild plants in the area.

Scientists have taken genes from a species of bacteria that is pathogenic to several insects and inserted the genes into potato plants. The bacterial genes cause a cell to produce toxins that kill the insects. As the potato plants grow, every cell of the plant contains the toxin-producing genes. This makes the potato resistant to attack by crop pests.

Which of the following is a limitation of this new technology?

Over time, insects are likely to develop resistance to the bacterial toxin.

A cat’s coloring is mostly determined by genes on their X chromosomes, which contain alleles for colors, such as black, orange, gray, and cream. The allele for white fur is located on a different gene.

Calico cats, by definition, must display three different colors in their fur – white plus two of the other colors. This is easily possible in female cats, because females normally possess two X chromosomes. However, this occurs rarely in male cats, because males typically possess only one X chromosome plus one Y chromosome.

What must be the genetic make-up of a male calico cat, and what type of chromosome disorder does this most resemble?

XXY, Klinefelter’s syndrome

According to this diagram, segments of DNA can be cut using ________.

The table above describes different types of chromosome disorders. Which diseases are caused by an extra chromosome?
Edward’s Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Klinefelter’s Syndrome

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