Genetic Engineer Tells Doctors How It's Done
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Genetic engineer tells doctors how it's done By SALLY REESE Times Medical Writer An overview of what's happening in genetic engineering was given here Wednesday by one of the scientists who made it possible. In a lecture at LSU Medical Center, Dr. Hamilton 0. Smith, a Nobel Prize-winner for his contribution to recom-binant DNA technology, explained how scientists snip, splice and rear-range genetic material and make bac-teria manufacture life-saving human substances. Smith shared the Nobel Prize in 1978 for research in enzymes tha.t make gene splicing possible. The Johns Hopkins University molecular biologist and geneticist said he believes the day will come when genes will be inserted directly into humans, but not soon. Though a self-styled "optimist who thinks we can replace a defective cell with a clone," he indicated that such a de-velopment is farther out on the re-search horizon. Meanwhile, bacteria are the "middle-men" for manufacturing hu-man proteins, such as insulin, interfon and growth hormones, for therapeutic purposes. Smith noted Eli Lilly's work in cultivating human insulin in bac-terial cultures, a feat made possible by recombinant DNA techniques and giving rise to hopes that the hormone will be on the market in unlimited supply within a few years. In his talk here, Smith explained how scientists can engineer human genes to work in a bacterial cell — how they can force bacteria to manu-facture human proteins in addition to their own. It's done by extracting bits of DNA (the substance of which the genes are made) from human cells. Then with DNA-cutting enzymes, these genes can be inserted into strands of bac-terial DNA and carried piggyback into the bacteria. With a human gene in the blueprint, the bacteria simply read it along with the rest of their DNA. Such bacterial "factories" will churn out molecule after molecule of human protein. In genetic engineering, he said, "we Nobel Prize-winner Dr. Ham-ilton O. Smith, at LSU Medi-cal Center lecture. are usually trying to scale up prod-uction of a given protein."
|Title||Genetic Engineer Tells Doctors How It's Done|
Smith, Hamilton O.
Louisiana State University Medical Center (Shreveport, La.)
|Notes||photo of Hamilton O. Smith|
|Identifier||See reference URL on the navigation bar.|
|Source||Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport Medical Library (http://lib.sh.lsuhsc.edu)|
|Coverage-Spatial||Shreveport (Caddo, La.)|
|Rights||Physical rights are retained by Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center Shreveport. Copyright is retained in accordance with U.S. copyright laws.|