A review article clarifies genotype-independent plant transformation

Recently, researchers from North Carolina State University and the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center published the first review of research progress on genotype-independent plant transformation. In this review, researchers ...

Dual function found for mRNA modifier

A chemical modification of messenger RNA (mRNA) performs different functions depending on its location, according to a study published in the journal Molecular Cell.

Self-eliminating genes tested on mosquitoes

Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientists have tested a technology to make temporary genetic modifications in mosquitoes. The modifications self-delete over time.

Can living organisms influence changes in their genes?

The change of genetic information over time is a key factor for evolutionary adaptations with which living beings can adapt to changes in their environment. On the one hand, genetic variability arises in the course of reproduction, ...

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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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