Significance of Major Discoveries in Modern Biology

Published: 2021-06-25
1815 words
7 pages
16 min to read
Carnegie Mellon University
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The world is gaining a progressive change in its face with regards to discoveries made in the various sectors ranging from the social, economic, political, and technological sector. The discoveries made have a huge impact on the culture, politics forum, the economy, the people, and the relevant technologies. The aim of this paper is to discuss the significance of major discoveries in modern biology. Technological advancements, however, have cut across all the sectors by enhancing the dynamic use of different equipment in running various activities in the specific areas. Biology deals with the study of organisms (both plants and animals) and the surrounding components within the environment (ecosystem). There are various branches of biology dealing with different studies of organisms. The two main branches of biology include Zoology is the study of animals and Botany which is another branch of Biology deals with the study of plants. Major discoveries which have been made in the field of modern Biology include the development of the recombinant DNA technology, development of immunohistochemistry as a scientific technique in staining during prognosis including screening and imaging equipment, and the development of Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).

With regards to DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid), the discovery of recombinant DNA technology has been significant in modern Biology. Recombinant DNA technology allows for the extensive transfer of genes from one human being or organism to the other. Recombinant DNA technology involves the transfer of a gene into a vector, and then the gene is cloned so as to produce replicate or several copies of the desired gene. This is also referred to as gene cloning. Recombinant DNA refers to the creation of new combinations of DNA segments that are not found together in nature (Firidin, 2010). The isolation and manipulation of genes allow for more precise genetic analysis as well as practical applications in medicine, agriculture, and industry.

Making recombinant DNA


Isolate DNA

Cut with restriction enzymes

Ligate into cloning vector

Transform recombinant DNA molecule into host cell

Each transformed cell will divide many, many times to form a colony of millions of cells, each of which carries the recombinant DNA molecule (DNA clone)

Genetic engineering which is a form of recombinant DNA technology has been applied across many fields such as medicine, industries, and agriculture. Genetic engineering in the field of agriculture has led to the evolution of genetically engineered or modified plants, and at a broad aspect, the same is also practiced in generating genetically-engineered organisms. Gene cloning is practiced across many areas on different organisms. Enforcing genetic engineering is a measure that has been so much debated on as it comes along with advantages and disadvantages on the individuals from and to which the genes are transferred to for study. Some of the merits of genetic engineering include resistance against infections, improvement of qualities of nutrition in crop plants, development of C4 plants, and distant hybridization. The demerits of genetic engineering include interference of the delicate biodiversity balance existing in nature, negative impact on the ecological system; genetically produced crops have a harmful effect on human health. Another disadvantage cause by genetic engineering of crops is the outsourcing of traditional products. On a broad aspect, genetic engineering has been observed to be a sufficient source of food for man. The prevailing rates of droughts have made man to discover other ways in which he can produce food to sustain his living. In the field of medicine, the knowledge of recombinant DNA technology has been applied in enzyme production for example urikinase used in dissolving blood clots from microorganisms that are genetically engineered. Additionally, vaccines have also been produced by the transfer of antigens which code genes to bacteria that cause diseases.

In the recent years, many discoveries are made by scientists across different fields including the medical sector. With regards to the augmenting inventions and innovations in the pharmacological and medical sectors, complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is highly produced across the many countries of the world (Ruggie, 2005 p.980). Despite the advancements, there still exist drawbacks concerning the production of the CAM in comparison with the conventional medicine (Fries, 2008 p.356). However, it is important to note that there is a correlation between the conventional medicine and the CAM which needs to be utilized for effective production of medical products. The CAM has its advantages and disadvantages which are well explained in this paper, so is the conventional medicine; therefore, prioritizing on the exceeding combination of CAM and the conventional medicine is a better approach towards making life more healthy by eliminating diseases.

CAM is gaining very much interest for medical practitioners who have spent their entire lives using the conventional medicines. CAM has been observed to work out for many patients who have chronic infections by relieving the patients of stress during therapies. Utilization of CAM entails therapies and practices such as massage, yoga, mind-body relaxation techniques, acupuncture, chiropractic, and the use of herbs. Research on CAM is still in progress to make fine touches on the unclear ends of the practice. Institutions have undertaken the responsibility of teaching about CAM after observation of the many positive effects the practice has on its patients. Organizations are also gaining interest in funding the researchers and scientists who are effortlessly working on making CAM a successful medical practice. Insurers have also made their economic requests before CAM practitioners to take care of their financial risks with regards to their line of specialization. The rates of medical consumerism are augmenting, making people leave behind their traditional cultural ways to go for the modernized forms of treatment.

CAM has broadly reduced the costs incurred by patients in treating some chronic infections like cancer. The relaxation techniques including botanicals have made the life for patients having chronic infections be a little easier than a conventional medicine would have done. The time consumed by patients who require much attention from conventional doctors is less when it comes to CAM. Despite the positive effects experienced by the usage of CAM, investigations are still underway in determining the safety and the efficacy of the practice as sometimes the patients complain about some side effects which are presumed to be due to CAM. The regulatory framework is also not giving the CAM practitioners an easy time by always being on their necks about the authenticity of their services. Consequently, patients have a hard time when it comes to accessing insurance covers for using CAM services; as such, the costs are viewed as too low while the payoffs are very high.

Many of the practitioners who have prioritized in CAM have undoubted financial success and research indicates that suppose the hospital regulations and red tapes will be lifted, then the practice will be a financial source for many individuals. Suppose the financial success of CAM is exhibited across a country, the countrys economy will augment at a higher rate in comparison with other countries which have not yet discovered the fruitfulness of CAM. However, CAM is faced with the problem of financial viability; the practice is more time-consuming and labor-intensive, making the volume of services delivered much lower than the conventional medicine. Integrating the services of CAM practitioners with clinicians, pharmacists, doctors, and therapeutics will make the healthcare a better place for its consumers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) needs to build a tighter regulatory framework in collaboration with National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) for the CAM research base. The CAM is facing a lot of competition from the conventional medicine and the integrative medicine.

Immunohistochemistrys general application is useful in the monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies application in the determination of antigen of interest distribution in disease and health. The information acquired from immunohistochemistry is always important for surgical pathologists; after identification of the tumor, it is easy to conduct surgery on the patient. Immunohistochemistry has been used extensively for the diagnosis of cancers; antigens of specific tumors have been observed to be expressed de novo or in some instances up-regulated in certain carcinogenic infections. Ultimately, the aim of immunohistochemistry is the performance of immunohistochemistry staining on the organism taking into consideration to cause little or no damage to the tissue or cell. Consequently, usage of less amount of the antibody aims at finding a way in the tumor typing and tumor markers; therefore, it is important to note that immunohistochemistry is useful in the diagnosis of diseases, development of drugs, and biological research. All these steps are functional as far as any carcinogenic or non-carcinogenic infection is concerned.

The usage of specific tumor markers helps physicians to be able to diagnose cancer as benign, pre-malignant, or malignant via immunohistochemistry; also in the determination of the stage and the grade of a definite tumor, and identification of the type of cell and metastasis origin to help find the primary tumor site. Metastasis is the process by which a tumor spreads throughout the body of an organism predominantly from their primary site to locations that are distant in the body. Studies show that malignant tumors multiply and spread (metastasize) at a faster rate than benign tumors. For determination of whether a tumor is malignant, benign or pre-malignant, a sample from a viewed under a microscope by a pathologist; this specimen is referred to as a biopsy. There are three types of biopsies incisional (core) biopsy, excisional biopsy, and needle aspirational biopsy. By definition, incisional biopsy entails a sample removed surgically from the tumor; excisional biopsy involves surgical removal of the whole area that is suspected to be affected by the tumor; lastly, needle aspirational biopsy utilizes a fluid from the infected tissue which is extracted by a needle. Cancer is becoming a world menace in the current society by killing many people across the globe. Finding a means through which the diagnosis of a patient can be conducted fast to prevent the risks that might come along as a result of delayed prognosis is a better approach towards dealing with ways of eradicating cancer.

Among the screening equipment and tests which have been discovered for screening patients with heart, chest, and lung problems are x-rays and x-ray machines, sputum cytology, stethoscopes, and computed tomography. X-rays can be used as screening tools for chest, heart and lung problems; this happens duly by detection of any fractures in the chest cavity and the lungs. The photographic images of these parts of the body help a primary care provider to establish the possible leads to an infection on the scanned area. Stethoscopes are solely used for detecting a patients heartbeat. When the heartbeat rate is abnormal; then there always is a problem with the body mechanism of the patient and as such, the problem has to be traced to save the patients life. The heart is a vital organ in the human body and anything that brings about interference to its performance limits the survival limit of a patient (Hiratzka, et al, 2010). Chest problems hav...

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