New CRISPR-powered device detects genetic mutations in minutes

A team of engineers at the University of California, Berkeley and the Keck Graduate Institute (KGI) of The Claremont Colleges combined CRISPR with electronic transistors made from graphene to create a new hand-held device ...

Is gene editing ethical? It depends

One of Matthew Liao's most popular papers proposes that humans could genetically engineer themselves to collectively reduce our species' carbon footprint.

Tricks to reduce DNA base editor's mistakes

Researchers at the Center for Genome Engineering, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS, South Korea) have identified the mistake rate of DNA editing tools known as adenine base editors, which are based on CRISPR. Assessing ...

The web meets genomics: a DNA search engine for microbes

Researchers at EMBL's European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI) have combined their knowledge of bacterial genetics and web search algorithms to build a DNA search engine for microbial data. The search engine, described ...

Molecular insights into spider silk

Spider silk is one of the toughest fibres in nature and has astounding properties. Scientists from the University of W├╝rzburg discovered new molecular details of self-assembly of a spider silk fibre protein.

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Genetic engineering

Genetic engineering, recombinant DNA technology, genetic modification/manipulation (GM) and gene splicing are terms that apply to the direct manipulation of an organism's genes. Genetic engineering is different from traditional breeding, where the organism's genes are manipulated indirectly. Genetic engineering uses the techniques of molecular cloning and transformation to alter the structure and characteristics of genes directly. Genetic engineering techniques have found some successes in numerous applications. Some examples are in improving crop technology, the manufacture of synthetic human insulin through the use of modified bacteria, the manufacture of erythropoietin in hamster ovary cells, and the production of new types of experimental mice such as the oncomouse (cancer mouse) for research.

The term "genetic engineering" was coined in Jack Williamson's science fiction novel Dragon's Island, published in 1951, two years before James Watson and Francis Crick showed that DNA could be the medium of transmission of genetic information.

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