DNA Recombination/Recombinant DNA (rDNA) refers to the combination, and insertion of DNA molecules from different organisms/ sources into another organism so as to produce an entirely new combination. Recombinant DNA technology is the technology that involves the joining or Altering of DNA molecule in organisms to generate products such as food, medications and other relevant products for the use of humans.
Before we continue, let me give a little meaning to what DNA means. For biologists this should be something familiar but for others I will give a little explanation. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is the molecular materials responsible for genetic and hereditary information in organisms. This molecular material contains unique genetic codes that have series of information an organism need to feed, reproduce and develop.
This technology is fast growing with researchers around the world developing new approaches and devices to help make recombinant DNA possible in different sectors including agriculture, health, and environment. Recombinant DNA technology was first invented from Werner Arber’s discovery of restriction enzymes in bacteria to degrade viral DNA molecule. Scientist realized that DNA could be cut and pasted from one organism to another.
Steps in Recombinant DNA
In getting new molecular instructions through from several organisms or sources to another organism, certain tools are required. These tools are Enzymes, vectors and the host organism. The enzymes are needed to cut, synthesize, and bind DNA molecules.
The DNA is found within the cell membrane of the cell of an organism coupled with other macromolecules such as the RNA, polysaccharides, Lipid and protein. In other to break out the DNA from these macronutrient, certain enzymes are required for this purposes. Enzymes such as lysosome (to break down bacteria cell wall), or the Cellulase (to break plant cell wall), Chitinase (for breaking fungi cell wall), Ribonuclease (to remove RNA), Protease (to remove protein).
Recombinant DNA technology isn’t complete if there is no cutting of one or more DNA and pasting it into another organism. In getting this done, the use of restriction enzymes are necessary. Restriction enzymes act as blades or scissors to DNA at specific locations. Using Agarose Gel Electrophoresis reveals the process of restriction enzyme digestion.
Once the DNA is cut, copies of the DNA is multiplied using DNA polymerase, this process is called Polymerase Chain Reaction after which ligation of the DNA molecule follows with the vector of interest using DNA ligase. A recombinant DNA is the resulting DNA formed from the ligation of the DNA and the Vector. The process of not complete if the recombinant DNA is not introduced into a host cell, a process called Transformation
Importance of Recombinant DNA Technology
Recombinant DNA technology has been able to create cloning of several organisms which have been useful in diverse application from mapping out human genome, food and agriculture such as producing novel enzymes which are suitable for food processing, Gene therapy, production of antibodies, Investigation of drug metabolism and Development of vaccines and recombinant hormone.
In conclusion, Recombinant DNA technology has proven to be an important development in the world of science with the aim to make human lives easier. With Recombinant DNA in the recent years, it will be useful in biomedical applications such as the treatment of cancer, diabetics and genetic disorder.
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