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Technology Discussion—Recombinant DNA, Business and Industry Trends Analysis

In recombinant DNA therapies, the implantation of selected strands of DNA into bacteria allows large-scale production of hormones, antibodies and other exciting, biologically-engineered drugs.  Additions to the medical arsenal developed from this technique include interferons, growth factor hormone, anticoagulants, human insulin (as opposed to the cow and pig insulin that diabetics have used for 60 years) and more effective immunosuppressive drugs.  Another example:  an anticoagulant proven highly effective for some heart attack patients, TPA, may dramatically reduce heart damage during an attack and cut hospital stays.  These drugs are often expensive, but they may greatly reduce the duration of hospital confinement and, in some cases, the need for any hospitalization at all.  Long-term, potential applications of this technology include genetically-modified seeds, vaccines, production of insulin, production of blood clotting factors and the production of recombinant pharmaceuticals.



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