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How to Clone a Mammoth by
Could extinct species, like mammoths and passenger pigeons, be brought back to life? The science says yes. In How to Clone a Mammoth, Beth Shapiro, evolutionary biologist and pioneer in "ancient DNA" research, walks readers through the astonishing and controversial process of de-extinction. From deciding which species should be restored, to sequencing their genomes, to anticipating how revived populations might be overseen in the wild, Shapiro vividly explores the extraordinary cutting-edge science that is being used--today--to resurrect the past. Journeying to far-flung Siberian locales in search of ice age bones and delving into her own research--as well as those of fellow experts such as Svante Pääbo, George Church, and Craig Venter--Shapiro considers de-extinction's practical benefits and ethical challenges. Would de-extinction change the way we live? Is this really cloning? What are the costs and risks? And what is the ultimate goal? Using DNA collected from remains as a genetic blueprint, scientists aim to engineer extinct traits--traits that evolved by natural selection over thousands of years--into living organisms. But rather than viewing de-extinction as a way to restore one particular species, Shapiro argues that the overarching goal should be the revitalization and stabilization of contemporary ecosystems. For example, elephants with genes modified to express mammoth traits could expand into the Arctic, re-establishing lost productivity to the tundra ecosystem. Looking at the very real and compelling science behind an idea once seen as science fiction, How to Clone a Mammoth demonstrates how de-extinction will redefine conservation's future.
Call Number: QL88 .S49 2015 (Downtown, South)
Publication Date: 2015-04-05
Pandora's DNA by
2015 ALA Notable Book Would you cut out your healthy breasts and ovaries if you thought it might save your life? That's not a theoretical question for journalist Lizzie Stark's relatives, who grapple with the horrific legacy of cancer built into the family DNA, a BRCA mutation that has robbed most of her female relatives of breasts, ovaries, peace of mind, or life itself. In Pandora's DNA, Stark uses her family's experience to frame a larger story about the so-called breast cancer genes, exploring the morass of legal quandaries, scientific developments, medical breakthroughs, and ethical concerns that surround the BRCA mutations, from the troubling history of prophylactic surgery and the storied origins of the boob job to the landmark lawsuit against Myriad Genetics, which held patents on the BRCA genes every human carries in their body until the Supreme Court overturned them in 2013. Although a genetic test for cancer risk may sound like the height of scientific development, the treatment remains crude and barbaric. Through her own experience, Stark shows what it's like to live in a brave new world where gazing into a crystal ball of genetics has many unintended consequences.
Call Number: RD667.5 .S73 2014 (Kent, Nassau)
Publication Date: 2014-10-01
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by
Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells--taken without her knowledge--became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first "immortal" human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than sixty years. If you could pile all HeLa cells ever grown onto a scale, they'd weigh more than 50 million metric tons--as much as a hundred Empire State Buildings. HeLa cells were vital for developing the polio vaccine; uncovered secrets of cancer, viruses, and the atom bomb's effects; helped lead to important advances like in vitro fertilization, cloning, and gene mapping; and have been bought and sold by the billions. Yet Henrietta Lacks remains virtually unknown, buried in an unmarked grave. Now Rebecca Skloot takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the "colored" ward of Johns Hopkins Hospital in the 1950s to stark white laboratories with freezers full of HeLa cells; from Henrietta's small, dying hometown of Clover, Virginia--a land of wooden slave quarters, faith healings, and voodoo--to East Baltimore today, where her children and grandchildren live and struggle with the legacy of her cells. Henrietta's family did not learn of her "immortality" until more than twenty years after her death, when scientists investigating HeLa began using her husband and children in research without informed consent. And though the cells had launched a multimillion-dollar industry that sells human biological materials, her family never saw any of the profits. As Rebecca Skloot so brilliantly shows, the story of the Lacks family--past and present--is inextricably connected to the dark history of experimentation on African Americans, the birth of bioethics, and the legal battles over whether we control the stuff we are made of. Over the decade it took to uncover this story, Rebecca became enmeshed in the lives of the Lacks family--especially Henrietta's daughter Deborah, who was devastated to learn about her mother's cells. She was consumed with questions: Had scientists cloned her mother? Did it hurt her when researchers infected her cells with viruses and shot them into space? What happened to her sister, Elsie, who died in a mental institution at the age of fifteen? And if her mother was so important to medicine, why couldn't her children afford health insurance?nbsp; nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp;nbsp; Intimate in feeling, astonishing in scope, and impossible to put down, The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks captures the beauty and drama of scientific discovery, as well as its human consequences.
Call Number: RC265.6.L24 S55 2010 (Cecil, Deerwood, Downtown, Kent, North, South)
Publication Date: 2010-02-02
Forensic DNA Analysis by
As scientists have unraveled the code of DNA, new fields have opened up in forensics. DNA can be used for many applications, from figuring out whether someone is the father of a baby to determining whether a particular person was present at a crime scene. Forensic DNA Analysis takes readers through the analysis process and explains the possible results.
Call Number: RA1057.55 .K63 2007 (Downtown)
Publication Date: 2007-02-01
From X-Rays to DNA by
Engineering has been an essential collaborator in biological research and breakthroughs in biology are often enabled by technological advances. Decoding the double helix structure of DNA, for example, only became possible after significant advances in such technologies as X-ray diffraction and gel electrophoresis. Diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis improved as new technologies -- including the stethoscope, the microscope, and the X-ray -- developed. These engineering breakthroughs take place away from the biology lab, and many years may elapse before the technology becomes available to biologists. In this book, David Lee argues for concurrent engineering -- the convergence of engineering and biological research -- as a means to accelerate the pace of biological discovery and its application to diagnosis and treatment. He presents extensive case studies and introduces a metric to measure the time between technological development and biological discovery. Investigating a series of major biological discoveries that range from pasteurization to electron microscopy, Lee finds that it took an average of forty years for the necessary technology to become available for laboratory use. Lee calls for new approaches to research and funding to encourage a tighter, more collaborative coupling of engineering and biology. Only then, he argues, will we see the rapid advances in the life sciences that are critically needed for life-saving diagnosis and treatment.
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2013-11-15
Today’s synthetic biologists are in the early stages of engineering living cells to help treat diseases, sense toxic compounds in the environment, and produce valuable drugs. With this manual, you can be part of it. Based on the BioBuilder curriculum, this valuable book provides open-access, modular, hands-on lessons in synthetic biology for secondary and post-secondary classrooms and laboratories. It also serves as an introduction to the field for science and engineering enthusiasts. Developed at MIT in collaboration with award-winning high school teachers, BioBuilder teaches the foundational ideas of the emerging synthetic biology field, as well as key aspects of biological engineering that researchers are exploring in labs throughout the world. These lessons will empower teachers and students to explore and be part of solving persistent real-world challenges. Learn the fundamentals of biodesign and DNA engineering Explore important ethical issues raised by examples of synthetic biology Investigate the BioBuilder labs that probe the design-build-test cycle Test synthetic living systems designed and built by engineers Measure several variants of an enzyme-generating genetic circuit Model "bacterial photography" that changes a strain’s light sensitivity Build living systems to produce purple or green pigment Optimize baker’s yeast to produce ?-carotene
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2015-07-03
Biological Identification by
Biological Identification provides a detailed review of, and potential future developments in, the technologies available to counter the threats to life and health posed by natural pathogens, toxins, and bioterrorism agents. Biological identification systems must be fast, accurate, reliable, and easy to use. It is also important to employ the most suitable technology in dealing with any particular threat. This book covers the fundamentals of these vital systems and lays out possible advances in the technology. Part one covers the essentials of DNA and RNA sequencing for the identification of pathogens, including next generation sequencing (NGS), polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods, isothermal amplification, and bead array technologies. Part two addresses a variety of approaches to making identification systems portable, tackling the special requirements of smaller, mobile systems in fluid movement, power usage, and sample preparation. Part three focuses on a range of optical methods and their advantages. Finally, part four describes a unique approach to sample preparation and a promising approach to identification using mass spectroscopy. Biological Identification is a useful resource for academics and engineers involved in the microelectronics and sensors industry, and for companies, medical organizations and military bodies looking for biodetection solutions. Covers DNA sequencing of pathogens, lab-on-chip, and portable systems for biodetection and analysis Provides an in-depth description of optical systems and explores sample preparation and mass spectrometry-based biological analysis
Call Number: eBook
Publication Date: 2014-05-07
Imagine a living, breathing dinosaur, mammoth, or neanderthal. This is the story of science's latest frontier, a global scientific investigation into DNA sequencing and bio-molecular cloning, to understand how scientists around the world are competing to be the first to rewrite the history of our planet and resurrect creatures from the past. Far from science fiction, three scientists have made it their mission to turn this dream into reality. From the labs of MIT to those of Kyoto, capabilities are here: it is no longer a matter of 'if' but only a matter of 'when'. Date Added: 10/09/2014
Open Educational Resource
DNA and inheritance
1928 Frederick Griffith, working with the bacteria Streptococcus showed that a chemical could change harmless bacteria into pathogenic (disease causing) bacteria. He found that the smooth strain killed mice, the rough strain did not. But if he mixed dead smooth bacteria with live rough bacteria the mice died, and had live smooth bacteria in them. (The rough bacteria had absorbed DNA from the dead smooth ones, which changed the rough strain into the deadly smooth strain).
1941 Barbara McClintock shows that genes are on chromosomes.
1952 Alfred Hershey and Martha Chase used viruses labeled with radioactivity to show that DNA is the genetic material.
1953 Rosalind Franklin, James Watson and Francis Crick use X-ray diffraction to work out the structure of DNA.
Before either mitosis or meiosis ( during interphase ) the DNA is copied inside the nucleus.
In 1957 Matthew Meselson and Franklin Stahl using bacteria showed that DNA replication was semi-conservative ( each new pair of DNA strands contains one old strand and one new one).
How the DNA is replicated
1) The two strands of DNA separate.
2) Each strand acts as a template (or model) for a new DNA strand.
3) The enzyme DNA polymerase forms new DNA sections
working from the 3` (3 prime) end of the original DNA to the 5` (5 prime) end.
4) DNA ligase joins together the Okazaki fragments.
5) Nuclease enzymes correct any mistakes in the DNA.
Last edited August 2014, by David Byres, David.Byres@fscj.edu