Recombinant Molecules in Action: Connecting Applied and Basic Science for Society

By Icy D’Silva.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Recombinant technology has led the way to advances in the development of useful recombinant molecules, as well as in the basic study of these molecules for the benefit of society. Recombinant molecules may be of different kinds, such as nucleic acids or proteins, including antibodies, enzymes, cytokines, hormones, growth factors and antigens. The creation of recombinant molecules for a variety of purposes, such as food, agriculture, environment, diagnostics and therapeutics also facilitates the study of their mechanisms of action. The activity, function and mechanisms of action of recombinant molecules may be regulated by a variety of factors, such as the structure of the recombinant molecule, as well as the interaction of the recombinant molecule with other molecules in its vicinity. For example, the creation of the first recombinant molecule, namely recombinant insulin for diabetic patients has facilitated the study of its mode of action, and has led to developing recombinant insulin variants, such as insulin glargine. Insulin glargine, the first available recombinant long-acting human insulin analogue differs in its action from native human insulin due to specific structural features of the recombinant molecule. As a research study, among the recombinant ovalbumin and recombinant ovalbumin mutant molecules that were designed, developed, tested and studied for their protective efficiency against egg allergy in a mouse model, a double mutant and a triple mutant were effective in completely preventing anaphylaxis, and were found to play a key role 1) in skewing the T regulatory / T effector balance towards the T regulatory pathway, as well as 2) in skewing the T helper 1 / T helper 2 balance towards the T helper 1 pathway. This paper presents a theoretical discourse on recombinant molecules in action with particular relevance to the connection between applied and basic science for society.

Keywords: Connecting Applied and Basic Science, Recombinant Molecules, Recombinant Molecules in Action, Society

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 2, pp.257-264. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 590.945KB).

Icy D’Silva

Graduate Student, Department of Food Science, Ontario Agricultural College, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Icy D’Silva (Ida Iris Icy D’Silva) earned her Master of Science degree studying “Anti-Lipopolysaccharide Antibody-Mediated Disease Resistance against Pseudomonas aeruginosa O6ad in Tobacco” with Professor J. Christopher Hall as her Mentor and Advisor, from the University of Guelph (Canada) renowned for its excellence in teaching, research and innovation. Icy is a Doctor of Philosophy Graduate at the University of Guelph having been involved in the study of recombinant molecules towards resistance against egg allergy with Professor Yoshinori Mine as Advisor and Professor J. Christopher Hall as her Mentor. Her expertise in biology has been widely chronicled and she has contributed to a number of academic journals, articles and book chapters. Icy has been enthusiastically participating in innumerable opportunities offered by the University of Guelph. Icy has been a University of Guelph - Ontario Agricultural College - Graduate Student Senator, and a University of Guelph - Food Science Department - Graduate Students’ Representative. Icy is equally active in serving the Guelph and Canadian community in particular, as well as the World community at large. Icy is an avid reader and writer.