Biotechnology in Animals

The most controversial applications of biotechnology involve the use of animals and the transfer of genes from animals to plants. The first animal-based application of biotechnology was the approval of the use of bacterially pasteurization: heating to destroy bacteria and other microorganisms, after Louis Pasteur crossbreeding: breeding between two different varieties of an organism fermentation: reaction performed by yeast or bacteria to make alcohol enzymatic: related to use of enzymes, proteins that cause chemical reactions to occur gene: DNA sequence that codes for proteins, and thus controls inheritance enzyme: protein responsible for carrying out reactions in a cell food additive: substance added to foods to improve nutrition, taste, appearance, or shelf-life

DNA: deoxyribonucleic acid; the molecule that makes up genes, and is therefore responsible for heredity insulin: hormone released by the pancreas to regulate level of sugar in the blood bacteria: single-celled organisms without nuclei, some of which are infectious diabetes: inability to regulate level of sugar in the blood

Scientists inserted daffodil genes and other genetic material into ordinary rice to make this golden rice. The result is a strain of rice that provides vitamin A, a nutrient missing from the diets of many people who depend on rice as a food staple. [AP/Wide World Photos. Reproduced by permission.]

hormone: molecules produced by one set of cells that influence the function of another set of cells cloning: creation of an exact genetic copy of an organism produced bovine somatotropin (bST) in dairy cows. Bovine somatotropin, a naturally occurring hormone, increases milk production. This application has not been commercially successful, however, primarily because of its expense. The cloning of animals is another potential application of biotechnology. Most experts believe that animal applications of biotechnology will occur slowly because of the social and ethical concerns of consumers.

protein: complex molecule composed of amino acids that performs vital functions in the cell; necessary part of the diet allergen: a substance that provokes an allergic reaction allergy: immune system reaction against substances that are otherwise harmless

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