essay – Cori Bargmann contributions to the advancement of biotechnology

Essay – Cori Bargmann contributions to the advancement of biotechnology



            No single universal definition of what is biotechnology has been proposed. To some, biotechnology is defined as the controlled and subsequent deliberate manipulation of biological aspects/systems for efficient processing or manufacture of useful products. To others, biotechnology is defined as the use of living organisms to make or develop products. Simply put, biotechnology is defined as the exploitation of biological mechanisms for purposes of industrial and other process, especially on grounds of genetic manipulation of microorganisms for the sole purpose of the production of hormones and antibiotics among others. Today, mind-boggling advances in medicine and biology are being made daily by brilliant scientists across the globe. With their inventions, these researchers and physicians are revolutionizing the field of biotechnology like never before (Kiper, 2014). Even though there hundreds of such scientists, Cori Bargmann comes in as one of the top scientists in the field of biotechnology. essay – Cori Bargmann contributions to the advancement of biotechnology.


Cori Bargmann: Brief Biography

            Cori Bargmann was born in Virginia and grew up in Athens, Georgia. Bargmann is a modern-day intellectual who received her B.S. in the field of biochemistry from the University of Georgia and her subsequent Ph.D. from MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology). She began her studies on C. elegans during her post-doc studies. She later went on to join the University of California as an assistant professor before moving to the Rockefeller University in 2004 (Marino, 2005). Her lab uses simple organisms known as C. elegans, an undertaking aimed at understanding how sensitive sense of smell determines how genes regulate neuronal development, behavior, and function (Dreifus, 2015). Her work has been recognized with a number of awards.

Cori Bargmann’s contributions to the advancement of biotechnology

            Cori Bargmann based her studies on roundworms with the aim of uncovering how genes and neurons have the ability of affecting behavior. Bargmann was convinced that a lot of gene mechanisms in roundworms mimic those of mammals, she was successfully able to manipulate certain genes while subsequently observing how they go ahead to affect or impact changes in behavior (Bargmann, 2005). essay – Cori Bargmann contributions to the advancement of biotechnology

In one of her studies, Bargmann manipulated a gene that caused the male worms to bumble around, especially when trying to mate and ultimately failing. Bargmann went ahead to develop the Brain Research Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies Initiative, a body tasked with researching the root causes of ailments such as autism and Alzheimer’s by considering the connections between the brain function and behavior (Bargmann, 2005).

Closely related to the above, Cori Bargmann explains how individual genes affect the brain and behavior by arguing that human beings are complex creatures with as many as 99% of human genes being shared with simpler organisms. Bargmann argues that by focusing on genes for a family of proteins, the G protein-coupled receptors, Bargmann argued that just a single gene had the capabilities of causing significant behavioral changes (Marino, 2005).

Apart from the above discoveries, Bargmann is also accredited for making a discovery that ultimately contributed to the discovery of breast cancer drug Herceptin. What Bargmann did was to discover a mutated gene that triggered an obscure cancer in rats. Afterwards, Bargmann’s work in the rat cancer indicated that the immune system had the possibilities of attacking the product of this gene, thereby developing a system to deploy the immune system. That is how Herceptin was created as a form of antibody against the gene product that occupies the surface of a cancer cell. Bargmann argued that the antibody had the possibilities of attacking the cancer cells growing due to that gene (Marino, 2005). essay – Cori Bargmann contributions to the advancement of biotechnology

Impacts of Bargmann contributions

            Cori Bargmann’s contribution to the field of biotechnology is evident. Her work on behavioral variation between and within species has furthered our understanding of the genetic architecture of a number of behavioral traits, identities of relevant genes in addition to the ways in which genetic variants do affect neuronal circuits to the extent of modifying behavior (Lewis, Martin and Orwig, 2015). It is with Bargmann’s contributions that we get to understand the genetics surrounding natural behavioral variation in non-human animals while highlighting the implications of these findings in helping to understand the complexities that come with human genetics (Marino, 2005). Marino (2005) further argues that Bargmann’s contributions help us understand that gene-environment interactions are central to natural genetic variation in forms of behavior and that gene that affect sensory processing and neuromodulatory pathways are some of the preferred sites of naturally occurring mutations.

Apart from Bargmann’s contributions of defining how genes and the environment influence behavior through dissecting the neural circuitry of C. elegans and receptors, genes, a subsequently signaling the molecules that are involved in such behavior as responses to odors among others, Bargmann is also accredited to having made significant contributions towards the discovery of Herceptin, a drug that has helped a significant number of people in the fight against breast cancer (Dreifus, 2015). Cancer, especially breast cancer is a killer disease. With Bargmann’s contributions, a lot of people have been in a position to be cured of it.

Lastly, Bargmann’s contributions have also been subjected to further research by many other biotechnology researchers, a move that has helped in coming up with latest medical solutions aimed at helping human beings with current problems that face them (Lewis, Martin and Orwig, 2015).


            Biotechnology is a field lately embraced by hundreds of researchers across the globe. Brilliant scientists have embraced this field fully to the extent of coming up latest inventions, a move that has helped human beings solve much of their medical problems. essay – Cori Bargmann contributions to the advancement of biotechnology.



Bargmann, C. (2005). Making the paper. Nature, 438(7065), xiii.

Dreifus, C. (2015). Putting Her Mind to How the Brain Works. New York Times. p. D5.

Kiper, D. (2014). Cornelia Bargmann. Current Biography, 75(5), 3-8.

Lewis, T., Martin, E., & Orwig, J. (2015). 11 scientists who are transforming how we treat disease, see the brain, and engineer our genes. Retrieved from

Marino, M. (2005). Biography of Cornelia I. Bargmann. Proceedings Of The National Academy Of Sciences Of The United States Of America, 102(9), 3181-3183.

Marino, M. (2005). Biography of Cornelia I. Bargmann. Retrieved from essay – Cori Bargmann contributions to the advancement of biotechnology


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