Recombinant DNA Applications: A Brief History
The first use of recombinant DNA was in the research of cancer cells. Later it became widely used in genetic engineering.
Today, recombinant DNA is being used in many fields such as biotechnology, genetics, medicine and agriculture.
In the past few years there have been several breakthroughs in the field of recombinant DNA. One of them is the development of new techniques for cloning organisms from cells.
Another one is the creation of genetically modified (GM) crops. These new techniques and crops have raised some concerns. However, in several countries, they have also brought great benefits.
What is Recombinant DNA?
In the field of biotechnology, ‘recombinant DNA’ means an artificial combination of the genetic information of two different organisms. DNA is the central part of all living cells. It carries genetic information, which controls the function of cells and provides the instructions to build and maintain an organism. The term ‘recombinant’ refers to the fact that these cells have been combined in a laboratory.
Recombinant DNA was first developed in 1973 by Arthur Kornberg and his team. After six years of research, they managed to join the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) of a virus and the DNA of a bacteria to create an artificial piece of DNA.
The process of recombining the DNA of a virus with that of a bacteria is called ‘transformation’. This new DNA was then used to transform a cell, which allowed it to take up and express new genes.
Since then, many other bacteria and viruses have been joined to allow scientists to move genes between bacteria, animals, plants and viruses. This process is called transformation because it allows new DNA to transform a cell.
Who Discovered Recombinant DNA?
The term ‘recombinant DNA’ was first used in 1972.
Sources & references used in this article:
- Basic concepts and practical applications of recombinant DNA techniques in detection of human papillomavirus (HPV) infections (SM SyrjÄNen – Apmis, 1990 – Wiley Online Library)
- Molecular biotechnology: principles and applications of recombinant DNA (BR Glick, CL Patten – 2017 – books.google.com)
- Applications of Recombinant DNA Technology: The new methods for precise manipulation of genetic material have made possible the transfer of genes between … (R Wetzel – American scientist, 1980 – JSTOR)
- Disease diagnosis by recombinant DNA methods (CT Caskey – Science, 1987 – science.sciencemag.org)