Latest Research News on genetic engineering : Dec 2021

Genetic Engineering of Livestock

Genetic engineering of livestock is expected to have a major effect on the agricultural industry. However, accurate assessment of the consequences of transgene expression is impossible without multigenerational studies. A systematic study of the beneficial and adverse consequences of long-term elevations in the plasma levels of bovine growth hormone (bGH) was conducted on two lines of transgenic pigs. Two successive generations of pigs expressing the bGH gene showed significant improvements in both daily weight gain and feed efficiency and exhibited changes in carcass composition that included a marked reduction in subcutaneous fat. However, long-term elevation of bGH was generally detrimental to health: the pigs had a high incidence of gastric ulcers, arthritis, cardiomegaly, dermatitis, and renal disease. The ability to produce pigs exhibiting only the beneficial, growth-promoting effects of growth hormone by a transgenic approach may require better control of transgene expression, a different genetic background, or a modified husbandry regimen.[1]

Genetic Engineering for Modern Agriculture: Challenges and Perspectives

Abiotic stress conditions such as drought, heat, or salinity cause extensive losses to agricultural production worldwide. Progress in generating transgenic crops with enhanced tolerance to abiotic stresses has nevertheless been slow. The complex field environment with its heterogenic conditions, abiotic stress combinations, and global climatic changes are but a few of the challenges facing modern agriculture. A combination of approaches will likely be needed to significantly improve the abiotic stress tolerance of crops in the field. These will include mechanistic understanding and subsequent utilization of stress response and stress acclimation networks, with careful attention to field growth conditions, extensive testing in the laboratory, greenhouse, and the field; the use of innovative approaches that take into consideration the genetic background and physiology of different crops; the use of enzymes and proteins from other organisms; and the integration of QTL mapping and other genetic and breeding tools.[2]

On telos and genetic engineering

Aristotle’s concept of telos l lies at the heart of what is very likely the greatest conceptual synthesis ever accomplished, unifying common sense, science, and philosophy. By using this notion as the basis for his analysis of the nature of things, Aristotle was able to reconcile the patent fact of a changing world with the possibility of its systematic knowability. Unlike Plato, whose austere mathematical model of knowledge led inexorably to a denigration of the experienced world, Aristotle saw that world as does a biologist, and found unproblematic the possibility of structural permanence underlying the constant flow of change. Though individual robins come and go, ‘robin-ness’ endures, making possible the knowledge that humans, in virtue of their own telos as knowers, abstract from their encounters with the world. Common sense tells us that only individual existent things are real; reflective deliberation, on the other hand, tells us that only what is repeatable and universal in these things is knowable. [3]

In vitro Antibacterial Activity of Snake Venom, Naja naja from Bangladesh

Aim: Snake venom is a source of antimicrobial peptides. Composition as well as activities of venom may vary based on geographic region and notably the antimicrobial activity of the venom of Naja naja from Bangladesh has not yet been tested. Thus, in this study, investigated the antibacterial activity of the venom of snake Naja naja from Bangladesh against two bacterial strains.

Place and Duration of Study: The study was carried out in protein science laboratory, Department of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Rajshahi, Bangladesh, between July 2012 to December 2012.

Methods: Luria agar medium was used to culture the E. coli and B. thuringiensis strains of bacteria. Disc diffusion method was used to carry out the test of antibacterial sensitivity. Discs prepared by Whatman No. 1 filter paper were soaked with different doses (25, 50, 75 and 100 µg) of crude venom and placed on the cultured bacterial plates along with two standard antimicrobial antibiotic discs. After overnight incubation at 37ºC, antibacterial activity of venom was measured by inhibition zone observed around the discs in the plates.

Results: Application of 75 and 100 µg of crude venom showed antibacterial activity against E. coli, whereas only 100 µg crude venom showed little antibacterial activity against B. thuringiensis.

Conclusion: The results of this study revealed that the crude venom of Naja naja may contain some proteins responsible for antibacterial activity and the quantity of antibacterial peptides might be lower in venom than other components.[4]

Modern Approaches to Classification of Biotechnology as a Part of NBIC-Technologies for Bioeconomy

Aims: The aim of the article is to systematize and improve existing theoretical approaches to the classification of biotechnology as a part of NBIC-technologies for bioeconomy.

Study Design: The reviews were carried out in the period 2005–15 on the basis of studying the world countries biotechnologies development trends as well as on the basis of the research results obtained by World and Ukrainian institutions and universities.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of International Economic Relations and Tourism Business of VN Karazin Kharkiv National University conducted the research between January 2016 and June 2016.

Methodology: Content analysis and bibliographic retrieval have been used as the main methods of research, which allowed making a meaningful analysis of classic papers and works of modern economists-practitioners devoted to the Global and Ukrainian trends in biotechnologies’ scientific research as a part of NBIC-technologies for bioeconomy.

Results: The article demonstrates that currently there is no common and unified classification of biotechnology. The authors systematized existing approaches to biotech typology by a wide range of criteria (objects, the level of human impact to biological systems, technologies, colours, and area of application) and proposed to improve them. The authors analyzed the “colour” classification, found its inconsistencies and disadvantages (e.g. separation of “white” biotechnology from “grey” one or expediency of “violet” biotechnology in this classification). With the help of the input-output matrix the authors expanded the scope of relationships between different biotech fields by supplementing new biotech application examples at the intersections of branches, adding extra fields (“brown”, “black”, “gold”, and “violet”) and particular cases of their interactions, namely, they: expanded the scope of application as to biomedicine, explained the role of biomedicine for development of bioterrorism as a feedstock supplier, defined the impact of biopharmaceutics on food industry and bioterrorism by means of concrete examples, considered industrial biotechnology as a platform for biomedicine development and supporting force for such a negative endeavor as bioterrorism, characterized the role of agricultural biotechnology in biopharmaceutics enhancement, added examples of interaction between arid zones and desert biotechnology on the one hand and food industry/ biopharmaceutics on the other hand, identified the area of arid zones and desert biotechnology application, included potential application of scientific results for enhancement of industrial biotechnology. Moreover, the authors developed the hierarchical model that reflects the ties between platform technologies (regenerative technologies, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, etc.), biotechnologies, and bioeconomy as a new type of economy based on biotechnology commercialization.

Conclusion: The authors developed the hierarchical model that reflects the relationships between platform technologies (regenerative technologies, genetic engineering, synthetic biology, etc.), biotechnologies, and bioeconomy as a new type of economy based on biotechnology commercialization. The enhanced version of the input-output matrix “origin – application” is a perspective pattern to be supplemented with the progress of global biotechnology industry, because it includes all the biotech branches that currently are more or less represented in the world. In addition, the model can be transformed and adapted for biotech industry of any country by reducing or splitting of the branches.[5]Reference

[1] Pursel, V.G., Pinkert, C.A., Miller, K.F., Bolt, D.J., Campbell, R.G., Palmiter, R.D., Brinster, R.L. and Hammer, R.E., 1989. Genetic engineering of livestock. Science, 244(4910), pp.1281-1288.

[2] Mittler, R. and Blumwald, E., 2010. Genetic engineering for modern agriculture: challenges and perspectives. Annual review of plant biology, 61, pp.443-462.

[3] Rollin, B.E., 1998. On telos and genetic engineering. In Animal biotechnology and ethics (pp. 156-171). Springer, Boston, MA.

[4] Hakim, M.A. and Reza, M.A., 2015. In vitro antibacterial activity of snake venom, Naja naja from Bangladesh. Biotechnology Journal International, pp.1-5.

[5] Matyushenko, I., Sviatukha, I. and Grigorova-Berenda, L., 2016. Modern approaches to classification of biotechnology as a part of NBIC-technologies for bioeconomy. Journal of Economics, Management and Trade, pp.1-14.


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