Drugs, vaccines, and enzyme replacements created by
genetic research are already widely used to treat people for diseases.
DNA" technology decreases health care costs by providing large
amounts of widely used drugs, like insulin
growth hormone. In this section, learn how recombinant DNA works
and about some of the therapies developed from genetic research.
Recombinant DNA is DNA
that has been altered in the laboratory so that a new gene has been
added or an existing gene deleted. This process is usually conducted
on a bacterium
(one-celled organisms). A gene
is inserted into the bacterium that contains the instructions for
the bacterium to produce a protein that it would not have produced
naturally. The bacterium's DNA is further altered so that it will
not survive outside the laboratory. By using recombinant DNA, large
quantities of proteins such as insulin for diabetics can be mass
produced. Bacteria become protein-making factories.