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The Garden Of Eden
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  • 1. HC 177: Biotech and Art Jun Dizon Philosophy
  • 2.  Flowers are often considered some of the most beautiful creations in this world. I aim to create a garden containing a variety of transgenic plants that phenotypically express aequorin (i.e. a luminescent protein) initially found from Aequorea victoria (jellyfish) using methods of recombining DNA. My project aims to illustrate how far modern society has come to understanding, developing, and synthesizing methods and ideas of technology and biology and how it has truly become one of seamless precision, beauty, and simplicity. Ultimately, however, the garden aims to explicate the ethical unnatural implications that modern science has provoked upon our world.
  • 3.  The creation of genetic engineering (i.e. gene manipulation) is a response to the natural barriers that normally prevent the exchange of genetic information between unrelated organisms. The rapid development of our understanding of biology and the technology we have developed to study it have led us to powerful tools in conducting methods of gene manipulation. In essence, we are now able to transfer genetic information from one organism to an unrelated one ultimately creating a truly chimeric organism.  I am interested in educating the public about two things in relation to my garden: (1) the birth of biotechnology and its power to (and has) affect the very way we live as a species and (2) the dangers that pose a threat to our future existence.
  • 4.  Have you ever had a flu shot, known a person with diabetes who requires injections of insulin, taken a hope pregnancy test, used an antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection, sipped a glass of wine, eaten cheese, or made bread? If so, you have experienced the benefits of biotechnology. Can you imagine a world free of serious diseases, where food is abundant for everyone and the environment is free of pollution? These exact scenarios are what people in the biotechnology industry envision for the future as they dedicate their lives to this science.
  • 5.  Tool Box: -Plant Cell -Plasmid -DNA containing Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP) -Restrictive Enzyme (EcoR1) -DNA liagase -DNA Particle Gun -Metal particles
  • 6.  (1) Digest plasmid and DNA containing GFP with restriction enzyme to generate DNA fragments with single-strand complimentary (sticky) ends.  (2) Anneal plasmid vector and DNA fragment containing GFP (assuming we’ve tested and found fragment containing GFP using gel electrophoresis and southern blotting or PCR) with DNA liagase to create phosphodiester bonds (i.e. to make bond stronger).  (3) Coat metal particles with chimeric DNA and “shoot” into plant cell via particle gun.  (4) Plate “shot” plant cells on a medium and it will regenerate transgenic plant directly from the transformed cells via totipotency.
  • 7.  The garden will be placed in a dim room with a black light shining over the transgenic plants for all visitors to enjoy.  I will have a pamphlet that outlines the procedure conceptually (as I did here).  The pamphlet will also contain a word of warning as to my purpose for this project explicating the need for public awareness into this powerful science and its affects on our modern society.
  • 8.  We must understand that science is crucially consequential to society because it is essentially an intensifying source of both benefits and risks. The positives include more effective and cheaper pharmaceutical products; better understanding of the causes of diseases (such as cancer); more abundant food crops; even new approaches to the energy crisis. These of course are envisioned in the “best-case scenarios” for the future application of biotechnology such as genetic engineering. “Worst-case scenarios” include worldwide epidemics caused by newly created pathogens; the triggering of catastrophic ecological imbalances; bio-warfare; the power to dominate and control the human spirit. In fact, many events that humanity formerly deemed as an act of God or nature can now be justified by human intervention with the natural world. We must move forward with heed and caution. Ultimately, both the best-case and worst-case scenarios are largely speculative, but the gap between them only symbolizes the large degree of uncertainty that still looms over this major step in science.
  • 9. 1) “The Manipulation of Genes.” Cohen, Stanley. Scientific Ameican. July 1975. 2) “The Recombinant-DNA Debate.” Grobstein, Clifford. Scientific American. July 1977. 3) “Potential Biohazards of Recombinant DNA Molecules.” Paul Berg; David Baltimore; Herbert Boyer; Stanley Cohen; Ronald Davis; Norton Zinder. Scientific American. July 1974. 4) Introduction to Biotechnology (second edition). William Thieman and Michael Palladino. Pearson Education Inc. 2009.
  • 10.  “Fluorescent Protein Application in Plants.” Berg R.H. and Beachy R.N. Methods of Cell Biology. 2008. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18155463?ordinalpos=1&itool=EntrezSystem2.PEntrez.Pubmed. Pubmed_ResultsPanel.Pubmed_SingleItemSupl.Pubmed_Discovery_RA&linkpos=4&log$=relatedrevie ws&logdbfrom=pubmed  “The Uses of GFP in Plants.” Jim Haselhoff and Kirby R. Siemering. http://www.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/Haseloff/laboratory/labdocs/LabPDFs/Haseloff97a.pdf  “GFP in Plants.” Jim Haselhoff and Brad Amos. TIG August 1995 Vol. 11, No. 8. http://www.plantsci.cam.ac.uk/Haseloff/laboratory/labdocs/LabPDFs/Haseloff95a.pdf  “Recombinant DNA Technology.” Schering-Plough. June 2009. http://www.follistim.com/Consumer/FollistimAQCartridge/RecombinantDNAtechnology/index.asp  “Potential effects of recombinant DNA organisms on ecosystems and their components.” Mark Wiliamson. Trends in Biotechnology. Vol. 6, No. 4. April 1998 http://www.cell.com/trends/biotechnology/abstract/0167-7799(88)90013-3  “GFP.” Marc Zimmer. 18 November 2009. http://www.conncoll.edu/ccacad/zimmer/GFP-ww/GFP-1.htm  “GMO Safety.” Federal Ministry of Education and Research. 9 February 2009. http://www.gmo- safety.eu/en/gene_transfer/674.docu.html  “Ethical Issues in Genetic Engineering and Transgenics.” Linda Glenn. June 2004. http://www.actionbioscience.org/biotech/glenn.html  “Genetic Engineering in Medicine, Agriculture, and Law.” Goldberg, Bob. HC 70ALecture Notes Week 1 and 2. January 2010.  Daisy Robinton; Jordan Fischer; Kristin Gill. HC 70A Discussion Notes, Week 1-3. January 2010.