Recombinant DNA is a molecule that is formed from DNA of different organisms. It is possible to create recombinant DNA by joining combinations of human, bacterial, plant, fungal or synthetic DNA. Recombinant DNA technology is often used in the research and clinical trials. Genetically modified organisms are created using this technology.
How recombinant DNA is created?
Recombinant DNA is created in several steps. First, researchers choose the nucleotide sequence or a gene, which they want to transfer into another organism. Then, they insert that short sequence of DNA from the donor organism into the small carrier molecule called a vector. Some viral and bacterial DNA can be used as a vector. Then vector is transferred into the bacterial or yeast cells and get amplified many times, producing multiple copies of the gene it carries. Those copies of the gene called clones.
Vectors with cloned genes then get extracted from the bacterial or yeast cells. DNA of the target organism mixed with vectors and specialized enzymes. Those enzymes break target DNA in a particular spots, which allow cloned sequences to get inserted into the broken DNA. Consequently, the breakage points repaired by other enzymes and cloned DNA joins the target DNA, forming a recombinant molecule.
Applications of recombinant DNA technology.
Recombinant technology firmly established itself in the modern life. Development of the new medicine is often associated with the use of this technology. It speeds out drugs discovery and minimises their cost.
One of the examples is a production of insulin. Certain genes that are responsible for the production of the insulin in human cells can be cloned and inserted into fast-growing organisms (bacteria E. coli). Bacteria can multiply quickly and produce high concentrations of this substance. Then, insulin can be extracted and purified. Almost all insulin on the market produced with the help of a recombinant DNA technology.
Recombinant technology is also used for medical testing. HIV infection diagnostics is an example of it.
Vaccine development for tough to treat diseases like Hepatitis B becomes possible thanks to recombinant technology.
Agricultural sector uses recombinant DNA technology to produce plants and animals resistant to the insects and illnesses, enriched with useful nutrients and capable of growing and reproducing in the harsh weather conditions.
General biotechnology research greatly benefits from this method. Gene expression mechanisms in an individual cells and whole organisms can be evaluated using this method.