BIO-1120: Chapter 19

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  1. Biotechnology
    The manipulation of organisms or their components to produce useful products
  2. Cloning Vector
    In genetic engineering, a DNA molecule that can carry foreign DNA into a host cell and replicate there. Cloning vectors include plasmids and bacterial artificial chromosomes (BACs), which move recombinant DNA from a  test tube back into a cell, and viruses that transfer recombinant DNA by infection.
  3. Complementary DNA (cDNA)
    A double-stranded DNA molecule made in vitro using mRNA as a template and the enzymes reverse transcriptase and DNA polymerase. A cDNA molecule corresponds to the exons of a gene.
  4. DNA Cloning
    The production of multiple copies of a specific DNA segment.
  5. DNA Ligase
    A linking enzyme essential for DNA replicating; catalyzes the covalent bonding of the 3'end of one DNA fragment (such as an Okazaki fragment) to the 5' end of another DNA fragment (such as a growing DNA chain)
  6. DNA Microarray Assay
    A method to detect and measure the expression of thousands of genes at one time. Tiny amounts of a large number of single-stranded DNA fragments representing different genes are fixed to a glass slide and tested for hybridization with samples of labeled cDNA.
  7. DNA Sequencing
    Determining the complete nucleotide sequence of a gene or DNA segment.
  8. DNA Technology
    Techniques for sequencing and manipulating DNA.
  9. Electroporation
    A technique to introduce recombinant DNA into cells by applying a brief electrical pulse to a solution containing the cells. The pulse creates temporary holes in the cells' plasma membranes, through which DNA can enter.
  10. Expression Vector
    A cloning vector that contains a high;y active bacterial promoter just upstream of a restriction site where a eukaryotic gene can be inserted, allowing the gene to be expressed in a bacterial cell. Expression vectors are also available that havebeen genetically engineered for use in specific types of eukaryotic cells.
  11. Gel Electrophoresis
    A technique for separating nucleic acids or proteins on the basis of their size and electrical charge, both of which affect their rate of movement through an electric field in a gel made of agarose or another polymer.
  12. Gene Cloning
    The production of multiple copies of a gene.
  13. Gene Therapy
    The introduction of genes into an afflicted individual for therapeutic purposes.
  14. Genetically Modified (GM) Organism
    An organism that has acquired one ormore genes by artificial means; also called a transgenic organism.
  15. Genetic Engineering
    The direct manipulation of genes for practical purposes.
  16. Genetic Profile
    An individual's unique set of genetic markers, detected most often today byt PCR or, previously, by elctrophpresis and nucleic acid probes.
  17. Genome-Wide Association Studies
    A large-scale analysis of the genomes of many people having a certain phenotype or disease, with the aim of finding genetic markers that correlate with that phenotype or disease.
  18. In Situ Hybridization
    A technique using nucleic acid hybridization with a labeled probe to detect the location of a specific mRNA in an intact organism.
  19. In Vitro Mutagenesis
    A technique used to discover the function of a gene by cloning it, introducing specific changes into the cloned gene's sequence, reinserting the mutated gene into a cell, and studying the phenotype of the mutant.
  20. Nucleic Acid Hybridization
    The base pairing of one strand of a nucleic acid to the complementary sequence on a strand from another nucleic acid molecule.
  21. Nucleic Acid Probe
    In DNA technology, a labeled single-stranded nucleic acid molecule used to locate a specific nucleotide sequence in a nucleic acid sample. Molecules of the probe hydrogen-bond to the complementary sequence wherever it occurs; radioactive, fluorescent, or other labeling of the probe allows its location to be detected.
  22. Plasmid
    A small, circular, double-stranded DNA molecule that carries accessory genes separate from those of a bacterial chromosome; in DNA cloning, plasmids are used as vectors carrying up to about 10,00 base pairs (10 kb) of DNA. Plasmids are also found in some eukaryotes, such as yeasts.
  23. Pluripotent
    Describing a cell that can give rise to many, but not all, parts of an organism.
  24. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR)
    A technique for amplifying DNA in vitro by incubating it with specific primers, a heat-resistant DNA polymerase, and nucleotides.
  25. Recombinant DNA
    A DNA molecule made in vitro with segments from different sources.
  26. Restriction Enzyme
    An endonuclease (type of enzyme) that recognizes and cuts DNA molecules foreign to a bacterium (such as phage genomes). The enzyme cuts at specific nucleotide sequences (restriction sites).
  27. Restriction Fragment
    A DNA segment that results from the cutting of DNA by a restriction enzyme.
  28. Restriction Site
    A specific sequence on a DNA strand that is recognized and cut by a restrction enzyme.
  29. Reverse Transcriptase-Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR)
    A technique for determining expression of a particular gene. It uses reverse transcriptase and DNA polymerase to synthesize cDNA from all the mRNA in a sample and then subjects the cDNA to PCR amplification using primers specific for the gene of interest.
  30. RNA Interference (RNAi)
    A mechanism for silencing the expression of specific genes. In RNAi, double-stranded RNA molecules that match the sequence of a particular gene are processed into siRNAs that either block translation or trigger the degradation of the gene's messenger RNA. This happens naturally in some cells, and can be carried out in laboratory experiments as well.
  31. Short Tandem Repeat (STR)
    Simple sequence DNA containing multiple tandemly repeated units of two to five nucleotides. Varations in STRs act as genetic markers in STR analysis used to prepare genetic profiles.
  32. Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP)
    A single base-pair site in a genome where nucleotide variation is found in at least 1% of the population.
  33. Stem Cell
    Any relatively unspecialized cell that can produce, during a single division, one identical daughter cell and one more specialized daughter cell that can undergo further differentiation.
  34. Sticky End
    A single-stranded end of a double-stranded restriction fragment.
  35. Totipotent
    Describing a cell that can give rise to all parts of the embryo and adult, as well as extraembryonic membranes in species that have them.
  36. Transgenic
    Pertaining to an organism whose genome contains a gene introduced from another organism of the same or a different species.
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BIO-1120: Chapter 19
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