This Protein Could Change Biotech Forever – Forbes

Electrophoresis

“Gel electrophoresis: 6 “DNA-tracks”. In the first row (left), DNA with known fragment sizes was used as a reference. Different bands indicate different fragment sizes (the smaller, the faster it travels, the lower it is in the image); different intensities indicate different concentrations (the brighter, the more DNA).” Via Wikipedia

New ways of manipulating genetic code–of writing, reading, copying, and editing the laguage of life–are cropping up almost on a daily basis. Our daily lives can change forever thanks to these advancements in biotechnology. It still remains to be seen if these changes are good or bad. I approach them with some reserve, with cautious optimism:

Bacteria, like human beings and almost every other living thing, keeps its genetic code in a library of DNA molecules. But to use that code, the organism copies the DNA into a related molecule called RNA. Cas9 can be paired with an RNA transcript to target a matching DNA sequence and cut it. That kills viruses, but scientists use it to cut DNA in exactly the place they want. The result is not so much like using a word processor as a biology lab version of what movie editors had to do back when they spliced together pieces of film.

This excerpt was taken from the article: This Protein Could Change Biotech Forever – Forbes.

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22 thoughts on “This Protein Could Change Biotech Forever – Forbes

  1. Its surprising how can the DNA of protein can be described through colors. It can be seen the tracks far more visible

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  2. From my perspective, these advances in biotechnology and the way they are used for genetic engineering are both beneficial and detrimental. It all depends on the usage you give to this newly found information.

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    • Biotechnology—as with any technological achievement—promises a lot. With every step that mankind takes towards improvement—mainly through science—comes great ethical responsibilities.

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      • These kinds of technological achievements, in my opinion, are crucial to the development of new findings in biotechnology. Nevertheless, its usage in the field, together with the ethical responsibilities, is what makes me think on whether or not we are able to control and respect the limits that come with those responsibilities.

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      • Indeed.

        As with every scientific achievement—capable of forever changing the human experience—, we have to tread lightly.

        I always take scientific breakthroughs with a healthy dose of cautious optimism.

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  3. The ways in which humanity has been able to physically store DNA never cease to impress me. We can store DNA and manipulate it as we desire. Perhaps someday, scientists will be able to store and modify genetic information digitally. Some scientists consider DNA to be ideal for storing digital information.
    (Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21145163)
    If we can store hundreds of kilobytes into a DNA molecule, then there must be a way to reverse the process and store DNA digitally for further use.

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    • I remember you asked a few weeks ago about DNA as an alternative to data storage, and the link you just shared is precisely what I thought about.

      Data storage will be a real issue in the next few decades. Scientists are very aware of this. Good contribution, Carolina.

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  4. As we know protein is essential for human life. But what if we could make an artificial cell that could functionally use proteins ? Something like this could be a potential change in the world, imagine if that is made, we could speed up regeneration of skin bruises or major injuries.

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    • Whatever knowledge we could gain from proteins, it would be great for mankind. Remember what I’ve said countless times in the classroom: Cells are basically protein factories. And proteins are possible because DNA exists.

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  5. I find it remarkable what DNA can do and how we can manipulate it. Now that technology is so advanced there are so many new discoveries in the science world that always seems to impress me. Technology can be both good and bad it all depends on how people use it.

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  6. Two years ago, scientists used this method to find a protein that contributes to the aging of human beings (http://www.nanowerk.com/news/newsid=14024.php), meaning that this technique for analyzing DNA represents an important step for the discovery of genetic diseases. I believe that this technique will contribute to the identification of any alteration in genes and DNA.

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  7. This can be seen as a good and bad thing. You just have to know how to use it. Scientists are searching on how to store information on DNA molecules like a USB.

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  8. Nice researched that has been done here it is very interesting how proteins can be made and how they want to store information on DNA molecules

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  9. what i understood from this post is that your talking about genetic engineering. witch is a very controversial subject many people think its humans playing god and making babies not natural but i personally completely support genetic engineering who are to take away any advantage our children might or can have making them bigger, stronger, or maybe even smarter. but lets not talk to much about changing physiology… genetic engineering is meant for taking away bad traits like heart problems. or other hereditary sicknesses or draw backs. color eyes and physiology is just a bonus.

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  10. Mutating, or cutting and pasting a piece of DNA could be somewhat simpler with Cas9. Even though I’m no scientist I feel like this would facilitate drug manufacturing, as the article mentioned. Perhaps even help people with heritable deceases to improve/change/mutate their DNA sequence.

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    • Cas9 could be the first step to making human longevity over a century a reality for most people. It is amazing how many analogies exist between editing—either in literature or cinema—and this splicing breakthrough.

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