Delivery of genes and nucleotides

Published on January 31, 2023   18 min

Other Talks in the Series: Drug Delivery

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Hello. My name is Lian Scott, and I'm recording this talk today on behalf of Doctor Esam Yahya, Lecturer in Bioprocess Division, School of Industrial Technology, University Sains, Malaysia. Today I'll be talking about the delivery of genes and nucleotides, which is a potentially powerful approach to stem cell biology, tissue engineering, genetic research, and gene therapy, by altering the behavior of targeted cells.
The human body consists of around 30 trillion cells. Each cell normally contains 23 pairs of chromosomes, 22 are called autosomes, and one pair of sex chromosomes. Most DNA is in the cell nucleus within these chromosomes, and a small amount of DNA is found in the mitochondria. These 23 pairs of chromosomes consist of DNA in a form of two linked strands that wind around each other to resemble a twisted ladder shape, known as a double helix, and attached with a scaffold of proteins known as histones. Each strand has a backbone made of alternating deoxyribose sugar and phosphate groups. Attached to each sugar is one of four bases: adenine, cytosine, guanine, or thymine. Together, they are called nucleotides. The sequence of the bases of each nucleotide along the DNA's backbone encodes biological information, such as the instructions for making a protein or RNA molecule.
A gene is a segment of DNA on a chromosome that forms the basic physical and functional unit of heredity. Some genes act as instructions to make proteins, while others do not code for any protein, and act as regulatory genes. Genes can also be classified into protein coding genes, and RNA-coding genes. Protein coding genes are transcribed into messenger RNA, and then translated to functional proteins. While RNA-coding genes are transcribed to a functional non-coding RNA, such as transfer RNAs, ribosomal RNAs, and microRNAs. In humans, genes vary in size from a few hundred DNA bases to up to two million bases, depending on the function of these genes.