The Wide Applications of Molecular Biology

Molecular biology clarifies regularities of cell and receals the essence of life.Molecular biology technologies have been widely adapted for recombinant protein production, genetic modification of organisms, gene therapy, environmental protection, etc.

Production of recombinant proteins

  • Recombinant Insulin production
  • For very long time, the insulin that was used to treat diabetic patients is solely purified from bovine or porcine pancreas. 100kg pancreas can only extract 4-5g of insulin. The development in the field of genetic engineering introduced chemically synthesized insulin cDNA in E.coli and allowed insulin production in microorganisms, yielding 100g insulin from every 2000L microorganism’s culture. The massive industrial scale production of insulin not only solves the yield problem but also drives its price down by 30% -50%.

  • Genetic engineering drugs
  • Genetic engineering is used to mass-produce interferon, artificial blood, interleukin, hepatitis B vaccine and many other drugs which played a huge role of lifting the human suffering, improving human health.Genetic engineering drugs has greatly been embraced by man to improve on his well-being.

  • Genetically modified animal
  • For certain protein drugs that require complex modifications or are needed in large supply, production in transgenic animals seems most efficient. The current strategy to achieve these objectives is to couple the DNA for the protein drug with a DNA signal directing production in the mammary gland.

  • Herbicide resistant crops
  • Herbicide resistant crops are genetically modified to tolerate broad-spectrum herbicides, which kill the surrounding flora, but leave the cultivated crop intact.

  • Genetically modified microorganism
  • Microorganisms are most commonly used in genetic engineering due to their inexpensive nature. Cheese production requires the use of a protein called chymosin which is a proteolitic enzyme usually obtained from calf stomachs. Production of chymosin in genetically engineered microorganism provides an alternative way of producing cheese that does not require the sacrifice of large amount of animals. Moreover, microorganism production of recombinant chymosin offers an easy way of increasing the production of chymosin compared to the amount that can be obtained from young calves.

  • Gene therapy
  • Gene therapy is a technique to treat genetic diseases by introducing foreign DNA which usually contains a functioning gene to correct the effects of a disease-causing mutation.

  • Environmental protection
  • The genetically engineered organisms can be used as bioindicators to readily reflecting pollution level on a habitat, community, or ecosystem. Moreover, these bioindicators are engineered to resist pollutant-leaded mortality and potentially has the capability in bioremediation of toxic chemicals.