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You are here : Home / Special Articles / RECOMBINANT DNA TECHNOLOGY
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Figure 1 : Basic Idea of rDNA Technology

Recombinant DNA technology or (rDNA) is one of the newly emerging knowledge that has been well known nowadays.

The word recombinant comes from the word combination, in which means the joining of two things. The term recombinant gives a meaning of two things that has been joining back again. Overall in a simple way of understanding, DNA recombinant technology is a kind of technology that rejoining two DNA of different traits into a single DNA. On the other hand, rDNA is also referring as gene manipulation or genetic engineering, as the original gene is being artificially altered and change. Gene manipulation or recombinant DNA technology can be defined as the formation of new combinations of heritable materials by insertion of foreign nucleic acid molecules into any virus, bacterial plasmids or other vector system as it allows incorporation into a host organism in which it is not naturally occur but still capable of continued propagation. In rDNA technology, the DNA will be able to cross natural species barriers in which the gene of interest of one organism is being place into another unrelated host organism and it will have the ability to propagate a defined and relatively small piece of DNA in the host organism. There are three methods in order to make rDNA which are transformed, page introduction, and non-bacterial transformation. In brief, transformation involves the insertion of gene of interest into a vector, and followed by the insertion or transformation of vector into the host organism such as E.coli. For non-bacterial transformation, basically it involves the same procedure as normal transformation, but does not use any bacterial since the DNA or gene of interest is directly injected into the nucleus of the cell being transformed. Lastly in phage introduction, the rDNA is made up by using viral infection instead of bacteria in a process named as transfection.

There are a lot advantages that can be gained while implement this technology. One of the good flow or procedure while introducing new technology is to ask “what does the future hold?”, “how far it can helps to improve the quality of life?” First of all, rDNA approach helps to reduce genetic disease in agriculture field in order to produce better crops that able to cope with drought and heat resistance due to unstable weather. Other than that, rDNA also helps in producing plants that able to generate their own insecticides and generally reduce the effects chemical pesticides that are widely used. In the medical field, rDNA approach helps in order to produce huge amounts of insulin, recombinant pharmaceutical product, and production of recombinant vaccines such as in the treatment of Hepatitis B. On the other hand, this useful and advance technology also contributes in the effort to prevent and cure of sickle cell anaemia and cystic fibrosis. Last but not least, this genetic manipulation approach also highly contributes in the gene therapy treatment.

As the world society keeps on improving and implementing this advance technology in order to improve the quality of life, there would be some of the worst impacts or disadvantages while introducing this knowledge. One of the most famous questions while implementing this technology is in terms of ethical view. It is undeniable that ethical issue can be so subjective because it might depend of the personal individual’s perspectives. The most popular question that frequently asked by the society is “are we playing with God creation by manipulating His perfect creation?” There is no ultimate right and wrong answer when this kind of question being asked for the answer is really subjective and may vary. In addition, the safety and environmental concerns also being discussed since rDNA technology able or have tendency for the viruses to develop antibiotic resistance and resistance to fungi. In conclusion, this benefit recombinant DNA technology or genetic engineering method is expected to contribute a lot of positive contribution and improve the quality of life as well.

Prepared by : Khyruz Tasyriq bin Abu Samah

Internship Student- Molecular Biology and Halal Science Centre

Supervisor: Mohd Hazim bin Mohd Yusop