Benefits of Genetic Engineering in Medicine

  • In this benefits of genetic engineering in medicine post we have briefly explained about advantages of genetic engineering in clinical field such as production of antibiotics, hormones, vaccines and interferon in the field of medicine.

Benefits of Genetic Engineering in Medicine

  • Biotechnology especially genetic engineering plays an important role in the production of antibiotics, hormones, vaccines and interferon in the field of medicine.

Antibiotics

  • Penicillium and Streptomyces fungi are used for mass production of antibiotics penicillin and streptomycin. Genetically efficient strains of these fungi have been developed to greatly increase the yield of above antibiotics.

Hormone

  • Insulin, a hormone, is usually extracted from the pancreas of cows and pigs. This insulin is slightly different in structure from human insulin. As a result, it leads to allergic reactions in about 5% of the patients. Human gene for insulin production has been incorporated into bacterial DNA and such genetically engineered bacteria are used for large scale production of this hormone. Since this is produced using human gene, it does not have allergic reactions.

Vaccines

  • Vaccines are produced by multiplication of disease producing organisms on large scale, which is a dangerous process. Recombinant DNA technique permits production of vaccines by incorporation of specific gene into bacteria. In other words, vaccines are produced by transfer of antigen coding genes to bacteria. Such antibodies provide protection against infection by the same virus.

Interferon

  • Interferons are virus induced proteins produced by virus infected cells. Interferons are anti-viral in action and act as first line of defenses against viruses. Their response is much quicker than influenza. It also appears to be effective against cancer of breast and lymphatic system. Natural interferon is produced in very small quantity from human blood cells. Now it is possible to produce interferon by recombinant DNA techniques at much cheaper rate.

Enzymes

  • Some useful enzymes can also be produced by recombinant DNA technique. The enzyme Urokinase, which is used to dissolve blood clots, has been produced by genetically engineered microorganisms.

Further Readings

Reference