Question about biotechnology

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Question about biotechnology

Post by xcalibur93 » Sun Jul 25, 2010 3:51 pm

In relation to using Bacteria to artificially produce Insulin, is a possible side effect that introducing the gene in the bacteria could alter the way the existing genes work?
I saw an MCQ once which I can't find right now but I do remember the options.. The question was which is a possible danger for performing the stated procedure. The first 2 were obviously wrong but the last two contained the option I just stated previously which is that it could induce changes in the working of the existing gene and one was that the Bacteria could become resistant to Insulin.
Is there an affect in which transferring a gene to a bacteria like that could cause changes in existing genes?

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Inland Taipan
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Post by JackBean » Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:38 pm

why should bacteria become resistant to insulin? Is it sensitive to insulin? :roll:

Anyway, you can alter the function either by wrong folding (but you should check that before will you sell it) or by insufficient purification, leading to co-purification of some toxin. But you should identify both possibilities by testing of your product ;)

Cis or trans? That's what matters.

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Post by canalon » Mon Jul 26, 2010 7:33 pm

Yes cloned genes can interfere with the normal existence of the bacteria, either simply because the overexpressed product of the gene will clump inside the cytosol of the bacteria which is sometimes detrimental to normal function. Or because the product of the gene is directly interfering with the normal genes of the bacteria (I am currently trying to express a protein that is toxic for the bacteria to get enough of it for purification, not exactly fun...).

But insulin is readily expressed by E. coli and there is no problem with that. First because E. coli is not sensitive to insulin, it does not need anything to mop up all free glucose around. You might have mixed up things with some antibiotic.

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)

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