Biotechnology

Biotechnology: An Industry Comes of Age by Steve Olson

By Steve Olson

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In this gene therapy has the potential to affect not only the individual undergoing the treatment but his or her progeny as well. Germline gene therapy would change the genetic pool of the entire human species, and future generations would have to live with that change, for cells case, better or worse. Germline gene therapy has been accomplished in laboratory animals. The mice described in Chapter 3 that were transformed by an inserted growth gene passed the gene on to their offspring, demonstrating that the gene had been inherited as a stable genetic trait.

Most obviously, monoclonal antibodies can be used to confer short-term passive immunity, as opposed to the long-term active immunity conveyed by lymphocytes. Researchers are also investigating the use in the body of monoclonal antibodies tagged with radioisotopes or other chemicals. By binding to blood clots or tumors in the body, such constructs could reveal the location of these pathologies to scanning devices. Monoclonal antibodto body may be able to halt the spread of certain tumors, and research is being conducted into the possibility of attaching toxic agents to the antibodies that would be delivered directly to a tumor.

The use of protoplasts as hosts is critically dependent on their ability whole plants, a characteristic known as totipotency. to the proper nutrients and plant hormones, to regenerate cell walls and undergo cell protoplasts can be induced In some division to form an undifferentiated mass of callus tissue. to differentiate into shoots, induced then be can tissue callus this cases, to give rise to Through exposure or entire plants. However, it is not yet possible to regenerate whole plants from callus tissue for most of the agriculturally important roots,' food crops, and the factors controlling this process are still poorly understood.

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