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ARTICLE

Bacterial DNA – the role of plasmids

Like other organisms, bacteria use double-stranded DNA as their genetic material. However, bacteria organise their DNA differently to more complex organisms. Bacterial DNA – a circular chromosome ...

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ARTICLE

Role of proteins in the body

Proteins are molecules made of amino acids. They are coded for by our genes and form the basis of living tissues. They also play a central role in biological processes. For example, proteins ...

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ARTICLE

Genotype and phenotype

We are all unique. Even monozygotic twins, who are genetically identical, always have some variation in the way they look and act. This uniqueness is a result of the interaction between our ...

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ARTICLE

DNA profiling

DNA profiling is the process where a specific DNA pattern, called a profile, is obtained from a person or sample of bodily tissue Even though we are all unique, most of our DNA is actually ...

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ARTICLE

E. coli – the biotech bacterium

The bacterium Escherichia coli (E. coli for short) is crucial in modern biotechnology. Scientists use it to store DNA sequences from other organisms, to produce proteins and to test protein ...

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ARTICLE

Impacts of biotechnology on society

Biotechnology has helped improve the quality of people’s lives for over 10,000 years. Today’s biotechnologies vary in application and complexity. However, they all have potential to change our ...

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ARTICLE

How to add foreign DNA to bacteria

Using modern laboratory techniques, it is relatively easy to add pieces of foreign DNA to bacteria. To do this, scientists first package their DNA of interest within a circular DNA molecule (a ...

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ARTICLE

Transgenic cows – introduction

Scientists at AgResearch in New Zealand have successfully produced healthy transgenic cows that make modified milk or human therapeutic proteins in their milk. What is a transgenic cow ...

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ARTICLE

Modern biotechnology

The discovery that genes are made up of DNA and can be isolated, copied and manipulated has led to a new era of modern biotechnology. New Zealand has many applications for modern biotechnologies ...

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ARTICLE

DNA, chromosomes and gene expression

We hear about DNA all the time, whether it’s in a news story or the latest crime show on TV. But what exactly is DNA? Where is it found? Why is it important? To answer these questions, we need to ...

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ACTIVITY

DNA detective

In this activity, students learn about the collection and processing of DNA evidence and use DNA profiling to solve a crime. The activity is designed for use on an interactive whiteboard with the ...

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ARTICLE

The genotype/phenotype connection

What role do genes play in development? How does your genotype contribute to your phenotype? Or more explicitly, how do genes work together to produce RNA that codes for proteins that make up ...

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ARTICLE

Proteins – what they are and how they’re made

Proteins are the key working molecules and building blocks in all cells. They are produced in a similar two-step process in all organisms – DNA is first transcribed into RNA, then RNA is ...

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ARTICLE

Techniques used to make transgenic cows

Scientists producing transgenic cows use a range of techniques including DNA cloning, restriction enzyme digests, ligation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), transfection, nuclear transfer and in ...

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ARTICLE

Transgenic cows making modified milk

In 2000, AgResearch generated their first transgenic cows. These cows produced modified or ‘designer’ milk. Discover why the scientists did this research and what they found. Cows with modified ...

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ARTICLE

Breeding a new apple cultivar

Breeding a new apple cultivar takes a long time and involves many steps. The aim is to produce high-quality fruit that consumers will like and want to buy. Breeding apples to increase quality The ...

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ARTICLE

Obesity: genetic or environmental?

Rachael Taylor is a Research Associate Professor based at the Edgar National Centre for Diabetes Research, University of Otago. Her research focuses on the environmental factors that contribute ...

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ARTICLE

Breeding easy care sheep

Easy care sheep developed by AgResearch were produced using selective breeding. Find out more about selective breeding and why scientists use this method to breed the easy care traits. Selective ...

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ARTICLE

Transgenic cows making therapeutic proteins

Scientists at AgResearch have generated transgenic cows that produce therapeutic proteins in their milk. Here, we explain the advantages and disadvantages of using transgenic technologies to ...

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ARTICLE

Producing foreign proteins in bacteria

Bacteria can produce foreign proteins from introduced genes, using their own gene expression machinery. Producing proteins in bacteria has greatly simplified the study of how proteins work. It ...

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ARTICLE

Crime scene evidence

Forensic scientists collect or process trace evidence such as hair, skin, blood or semen samples that is found at crime scenes. Crime scene evidence can include a wide variety of substances such ...

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ARTICLE

Uniquely me – key Terms

What makes you, you and me, me? Genes or environment? How we look and act is the result of the interaction of our genes with our environment. Even identical twins, with an identical genetic ...

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ARTICLE

Future uses of transgenic cows

AgResearch scientists have generated transgenic cows with biomedical and agricultural applications. Here, we list potential applications of transgenic cows and describe how a transgenic farm ...

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ARTICLE

Bacteria in biotech – introduction

Find out how and why we use bacteria to improve our lives, and discover how the DNA revolution has led to new uses for bacteria. Making use of bacteria: then and now For millennia, we humans have ...

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