Synthesizing human insulin using recombinant DNA, 3D animation with no audio
The group at Genentech synthesized the human insulin DNA sequence, which they then inserted into bacteria for insulin production.
(DNAi Location: Manipulation > Production > Pieces of the puzzle > Synthesizing the DNA)
In order to synthesize human insulin using recombinant DNA technology, the human DNA sequence for insulin was needed. The amino acid sequence of human insulin was known. The Genentech group deduced the human DNA sequence of insulin based on its amino acid sequence. They then used the DNA nucleotides and synthesized the human DNA sequence. This sequence was then inserted into a plasmid and transformed into bacteria to produce insulin. By synthesizing the DNA sequence, the Genentech group assembled a human DNA sequence of insulin without ever having to use "real" human DNA. They thus bypassed some of the restrictions on human recombinant DNA work resulting from the Asilomar conference.
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How was synthetic insulin first made? Although the idea was simple, in practice there were substantial problems. No one had the human DNA sequence for insulin, and there was a moratorium on the production of human recombinant DNA.
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