Genetic engineering involves changing the DNA of an organism, usually by deleting, inserting or editing a gene to produce desired characteristics.
Process where microorganisms are cultured so that they reproduce and increase in quantity.
A distinct part of the cell, such as the nucleus, ribosome or mitochondrion, which has structure and function.
Microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and fungi
Uncontaminated by microorganisms
Bases, sometimes called nitrogenous bases, are the parts of the DNA molecule that join the two helix strands. They are like rungs on a ladder. There are four bases: adenine (A), thymine (T), guanine (G) and cytosine (C). Each base can only join with one other base; i.e. they join together in pairs: A with T and G with C.
A sequence of three DNA bases (triplet) code for one amino acid.
|amino acid||1st base||2nd base||3rd base|
The animation shows an overview of how genetic engineering can be used to produce human insulin. The enzymes involved are shown in the lower animation.
Details of the enzymes involved.
Human insulin is produced in a very controlled and sterile environment.
Genetically-engineered bacteria are grown in large stainless steel fermentation vessels. The vessel contains all the nutrients needed for growth.
When the fermentation is complete, the mixture containing the bacteria is removed from the fermentation vessel. The bacteria are filtered off and broken open to release the insulin they have produced. The insulin is separated from all the other proteins and organelles from inside the bacteria and once purified it is packaged for distribution.
All the equipment is kept sterile to prevent contamination and regular checks make sure that the insulin meets the required quality standards.