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Biology LibreTexts

10.E: Biotechnology (Exercises)

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    10.1: Cloning and Genetic Engineering


    Multiple Choice

    In gel electrophoresis of DNA, the different bands in the final gel form because the DNA molecules ________.

    1. are from different organisms
    2. have different lengths
    3. have different nucleotide compositions
    4. have different genes


    In the reproductive cloning of an animal, the genome of the cloned individual comes from ________.

    A. a sperm cell
    B. an egg cell
    C. any gamete cell
    D. a body cell


    What carries a gene from one organism into a bacteria cell?

    A. a plasmid
    B. an electrophoresis gel
    C. a restriction enzyme
    D. polymerase chain reaction


    Free Response

    What is the purpose and benefit of the polymerase chain reaction?

    The polymerase chain reaction is used to quickly produce many copies of a specific segment of DNA when only one or a very few copies are originally present. The benefit of PCR is that there are many instances in which we would like to know something about a sample of DNA when only very small amounts are available. PCR allows us to increase the number of DNA molecules so that other tests, such as sequencing, can be performed with it.

    10.2: Biotechnology in Medicine and Agriculture

    Multiple Choice

    What is a genetically modified organism (GMO)?

    A. a plant with certain genes removed
    B. an organism with an artificially altered genome
    C. a hybrid organism
    D. any agricultural organism produced by breeding or biotechnology


    What is the role of Agrobacterium tumefaciens in the production of transgenic plants?

    A. Genes from A. tumefaciens are inserted into plant DNA to give the plant different traits.
    B. Transgenic plants have been given resistance to the pest A. tumefaciens.
    C. A. tumefaciens is used as a vector to move genes into plant cells.
    D. Plant genes are incorporated into the genome of Agrobacterium tumefaciens.


    Free Response

    Today, it is possible for a diabetic patient to purchase human insulin from a pharmacist. What technology makes this possible and why is it a benefit over how things used to be?

    The human insulin comes from the gene that produces insulin in humans, which has been spliced into a bacterial genome using recombinant DNA technology. The bacterium produces the insulin, which is then purified for human use. Before there was genetically engineered human insulin, diabetics were given insulin extracted from pig pancreases, which was similar to, but not exactly like, human insulin. Because it was not exactly like human insulin, the pig insulin caused complications in some diabetic patients.

    10.3: Genomics and Proteomics


    Multiple Choice

    What is the most challenging issue facing genome sequencing?

    A. the inability to develop fast and accurate sequencing techniques
    B. the ethics of using information from genomes at the individual level
    C. the availability and stability of DNA
    D. all of the above


    Genomics can be used in agriculture to:

    A. generate new hybrid strains
    B. improve disease resistance
    C. improve yield
    D. all of the above


    What kind of diseases are studied using genome-wide association studies?

    A. viral diseases
    B. single-gene inherited diseases
    C. diseases caused by multiple genes
    D. diseases caused by environmental factors


    Free Response

    Describe two of the applications for genome mapping.

    Genome mapping helps researchers to study disease-causing genes in humans. It also helps to identify traits of organisms that can be used in applications such as cleaning up pollution.

    Identify a possible advantage and a possible disadvantage of a genetic test that would identify genes in individuals that increase their probability of having Alzheimer's disease later in life.

    The benefit of such a test is that the individual can make preparations for having the disease including taking treatments that slow the disease. The disadvantage of the test is that it might be used by insurance companies to deny coverage to the person.