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The coronavirus isn't the only plague making headlines this year—locusts are devastating crops in several parts of the world, and now scientists are discovering why the pest forms destructive swarms.

Mothers ensure their offspring's success through epigenetics

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Researchers obtain the first mice born with hyper-long telomeres

A chance finding 10 years ago led to the creation by researchers of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) of the first mice born with much longer telomeres than normal in their species. Telomeres shorten throughout ...

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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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