A safer way to deploy bacteria as environmental sensors

In recent years, scientists have developed many strains of engineered bacteria that can be used as sensors to detect environmental contaminants such as heavy metals. If deployed in the natural environment, these sensors could ...

Rules of resistance against transgene silencing

Clear rules for engineering transgenes that can be inserted and propagated over multiple generations of nematodes include ways to protect inserted genes from the organism's natural defenses against foreign DNA. Developed ...

Plant genetic engineering to fight hidden hunger

More than 2 billion people worldwide suffer from micronutrient malnutrition due to deficiencies in minerals and vitamins. Poor people in developing countries are most affected, because their diets are typically dominated ...

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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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