Help a student with genetic essay

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Offline Francois

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Help a student with genetic essay
« on: 15/11/2002 16:12:59 »
Hi the naked scientist!
i hava just find out your website, and i very enjoy it: that the way i want to practise science!
I was wondering if you can help me about a genetic essay. The subject is not very clear and you can maybe help me....
My lecturer let us  that : "induce mutations as a tool for medicine"
Then i asked her for more precision and she told me: "Mutations can be induced in DNA to observe what effect the
mutation has on the protein function.  This approach has led to an
understanding of several human diseases."

Now, i have no idea to start with that!
In your opinion, is it to simply explain some genetic diseases (cancer...)with their principes, or could it be the use of animals as disease-model to understand human diseases.....
Our lectures from this lecturer was about mutations (Principes....)
i am a bit lost, do you think you can help me?



Offline NakedScientist

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Re: Help a student with genetic essay
« Reply #1 on: 16/11/2002 00:11:37 »
Dear Francois

I'm glad you like the website, and thanks for your question, which is an interesting one.

As the old saying goes, it is often through its mistakes that nature reveals its secrets. This statement alludes to the fact that when a spanner is thrown in the works - which usually occurs in nature through genetic mutation - then the effect on the organism that these changes produce provides useful clues to the function of the mutated gene.

For instance there are a number of inherited metabolic diseases that are caused by the presence of a faulty gene. The gene encodes an enzyme that is supposed to break down substances in a pathway. The absence of the enzyme causes the substance it normally works on to accumulate, sometimes reaching very high or toxic levels. So, using this very simple example, if you know what gene you have mutated, and you know what substances are accumulating in the cell, and which substances are deficient as a result, you know the function of the protein encoded by the faulty gene.

A common way to study the role of different genes these days is to make a 'knock-out' mouse. Put simply, researchers can selectively remove a gene from a mouse embryo so that they can see what happens to the mouse as it develops and reaches adulthoog i.e. study its phenotype. This approach is often used to study the development of the nervous system, for example, where the effects of deleting genes can then be followed at a cellular and molecular level.

Other examples include the mutation of genes in myelin (the coating that surrounds nerve fibres to help them convey action potentials) to help scientists to understand how these proteins function and in order to develop treatments for diseases caused by myelin degeneration such as MS and peripheral neuropathies. Also, the metabolic conditions mentioned above, not least diabetes and obesity.

« Last Edit: 06/12/2002 22:50:45 by NakedScientist »


Offline jessyto27

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Help a student with genetic essay
« Reply #2 on: 08/06/2010 03:41:40 »
Genetic essay is one of the toughest essays ever. A student who focuses on such course or subject must be a wide reader and open-minded about the certain subject regarding genetic itself. It is somewhat similar to biological essay because you are also dealing with living things.
« Last Edit: 09/06/2010 07:29:17 by jessyto27 »