Chapter 1 Introduction

This section of the bioengineering course will introduce you to the molecular biology portion of the course. That is, we will examine the properties of the nucleic acids that constitute genes and then proteins which are the end product of gene action and the main focus of genetic engineering. We will investigate our model, the hormone insulin, its structure and the general role it plays in regulating the blood level of glucose. Individuals who suffer from diabetes either are unable to produce insulin, or have some defect in responding to the hormone signals.

There are many analogies between general engineering principles and the manner in which the body regulates glucose levels: