genetic engineering


  • It is a set of technologies used to change the genetic makeup of cells, including the transfer of genes within and across species boundaries to produce improved or novel organisms.

  • The presence of the gene does not guarantee it will be expressed at appropriate levels in the target tissue so methods that look for and measure the gene products (RNA and
    protein) are also used.

  • The process is much the same as that in knockout engineering, except that the construct is designed to increase the function of the gene, usually by providing extra copies
    of the gene or inducing synthesis of the protein more frequently.

  • [109] Research[edit] Knockout mice Human cells in which some proteins are fused with green fluorescent protein to allow them to be visualised Genetic engineering is an important
    tool for natural scientists, with the creation of transgenic organisms one of the most important tools for analysis of gene function.

  • One of the earliest uses of genetic engineering was to mass-produce human insulin in bacteria.

  • [14] If genetic material from another species is added to the host, the resulting organism is called transgenic.

  • By knocking out genes responsible for certain conditions it is possible to create animal model organisms of human diseases.

  • [89] Genetic engineering is also used to create animal models of human diseases.

  • In plants the DNA is often inserted using Agrobacterium-mediated transformation,[61] taking advantage of the Agrobacteriums T-DNA sequence that allows natural insertion of
    genetic material into plant cells.

  • [85] Medicine[edit] Genetic engineering has many applications to medicine that include the manufacturing of drugs, creation of model animals that mimic human conditions and
    gene therapy.

  • This is much faster, can be used to insert any genes from any organism (even ones from different domains) and prevents other undesirable genes from also being added.

  • These markers are usually present in the transgenic organism, although a number of strategies have been developed that can remove the selectable marker from the mature transgenic

  • [44][45] Four years later this was taken a step further when a bacterium was developed that replicated a plasmid containing a unique base pair, creating the first organism
    engineered to use an expanded genetic alphabet.

  • [16] In Europe genetic modification is synonymous with genetic engineering while within the United States of America and Canada genetic modification can also be used to refer
    to more conventional breeding methods.

  • [110] Genes and other genetic information from a wide range of organisms can be inserted into bacteria for storage and modification, creating genetically modified bacteria
    in the process.

  • Unlike traditional animal and plant breeding, which involves doing multiple crosses and then selecting for the organism with the desired phenotype, genetic engineering takes
    the gene directly from one organism and delivers it to the other.

  • [125] One of the best-known and controversial applications of genetic engineering is the creation and use of genetically modified crops or genetically modified livestock to
    produce genetically modified food.

  • [58] Before the gene is inserted into the target organism it must be combined with other genetic elements.

  • While this is a useful technique, the manipulation can destroy the function of the gene, creating secondary effects and possibly calling into question the results of the experiment.

  • • Loss of function experiments, such as in a gene knockout experiment, in which an organism is engineered to lack the activity of one or more genes.

  • [10] Cloning and stem cell research, although not considered genetic engineering,[11] are closely related and genetic engineering can be used within them.

  • More sophisticated techniques are now in development that can track protein products without mitigating their function, such as the addition of small sequences that will serve
    as binding motifs to monoclonal antibodies.

  • One way to do this is to replace the wild-type gene with a ‘fusion’ gene, which is a juxtaposition of the wild-type gene with a reporting element such as green fluorescent
    protein (GFP) that will allow easy visualisation of the products of the genetic modification.

  • [99][100] In 2015, CRISPR was used to edit the DNA of non-viable human embryos,[101][102] leading scientists of major world academies to call for a moratorium on inheritable
    human genome edits.

  • Genome editing uses artificially engineered nucleases that create specific double-stranded breaks at desired locations in the genome, and use the cell’s endogenous mechanisms
    to repair the induced break by the natural processes of homologous recombination and nonhomologous end-joining.

  • Gene therapy is the genetic engineering of humans, generally by replacing defective genes with effective ones.

  • IUPAC definition Genetic engineering: Process of inserting new genetic information into existing cells in order to modify a specific organism for the purpose of changing its

  • [15] If genetic engineering is used to remove genetic material from the target organism the resulting organism is termed a knockout organism.

  • Genetic engineering as the direct manipulation of DNA by humans outside breeding and mutations has only existed since the 1970s.

  • [50] Process Main article: Genetic engineering techniques Polymerase chain reaction is a powerful tool used in molecular cloning Creating a GMO is a multi-step process.

  • If the chosen gene or the donor organism’s genome has been well studied it may already be accessible from a genetic library.

  • The gene can also be modified at this stage for better expression or effectiveness.

  • A selectable marker gene is added, which in most cases confers antibiotic resistance, so researchers can easily determine which cells have been successfully transformed.

  • [122][123] Bacteria have also been engineered to function as sensors by expressing a fluorescent protein under certain environmental conditions.

  • [17][18][19] History Main article: History of genetic engineering Humans have altered the genomes of species for thousands of years through selective breeding, or artificial
    selection[20]: 1 [21]: 1  as contrasted with natural selection.

  • [105] In November 2018, He Jiankui announced that he had edited the genomes of two human embryos, to attempt to disable the CCR5 gene, which codes for a receptor that HIV
    uses to enter cells.

  • [69] The new genetic material can be inserted randomly within the host genome or targeted to a specific location.

  • The genetically modified animals include animals with genes knocked out, increased susceptibility to disease, hormones for extra growth and the ability to express proteins
    in their milk.

  • The development of microarrays, transcriptomics and genome sequencing has made it much easier to find suitable genes.

  • [5] It is an important tool in research that allows the function of specific genes to be studied.

  • [98] Germline gene therapy would result in any change being inheritable, which has raised concerns within the scientific community.

  • In research GMOs are used to study gene function and expression through loss of function, gain of function, tracking and expression experiments.

  • [59] Inserting DNA into the host genome[edit] Main article: Gene delivery A gene gun uses biolistics to insert DNA into plant tissue There are a number of techniques used
    to insert genetic material into the host genome.

  • Scientists that do this type of research will often let embryos grow for a few days without allowing it to develop into a baby.

  • [27][28] A year later Rudolf Jaenisch created a transgenic mouse by introducing foreign DNA into its embryo, making it the world’s first transgenic animal[29] These achievements
    led to concerns in the scientific community about potential risks from genetic engineering, which were first discussed in depth at the Asilomar Conference in 1975.

  • [112] • Expression studies aim to discover where and when specific proteins are produced.

  • [4] Genetic engineering could potentially fix severe genetic disorders in humans by replacing the defective gene with a functioning one.

  • [57] The RK2 plasmid is notable for its ability to replicate in a wide variety of single-celled organisms, which makes it suitable as a genetic engineering tool.

  • Genetic screens can be carried out to determine potential genes and further tests then used to identify the best candidates.

  • Expression studies can be taken a step further by altering the promoter to find which pieces are crucial for the proper expression of the gene and are actually bound by transcription
    factor proteins; this process is known as promoter bashing.

  • As well as inserting genes, the process can be used to remove, or “knock out”, genes.

  • [12] Synthetic biology is an emerging discipline that takes genetic engineering a step further by introducing artificially synthesised material into an organism.

  • Gain of function is used to tell whether or not a protein is sufficient for a function, but does not always mean it is required, especially when dealing with genetic or functional

  • [120] Certain genetically modified microbes can also be used in biomining and bioremediation, due to their ability to extract heavy metals from their environment and incorporate
    them into compounds that are more easily recoverable.

  • [124] Agriculture[edit] Main articles: Genetically modified crops and Genetically modified food Bt-toxins present in peanut leaves (bottom image) protect it from extensive
    damage caused by lesser cornstalk borer larvae (top image).

  • Genetic engineering, also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the modification and manipulation of an organism’s genes using technology.

  • Embryonic stem cells incorporate the altered gene, which replaces the already present functional copy.

  • Bacteria, the first organisms to be genetically modified, can have plasmid DNA inserted containing new genes that code for medicines or enzymes that process food and other

  • [34] In 1983, a biotech company, Advanced Genetic Sciences (AGS) applied for U.S. government authorisation to perform field tests with the ice-minus strain of Pseudomonas
    syringae to protect crops from frost, but environmental groups and protestors delayed the field tests for four years with legal challenges.

  • As only a single cell is transformed with genetic material, the organism must be regenerated from that single cell.

  • [84] Genetically modified animals have been used for research, model animals and the production of agricultural or pharmaceutical products.

  • [112] When this is done by creating a library of genes with point mutations at every position in the area of interest, or even every position in the whole gene, this is called
    “scanning mutagenesis”.

  • [103] There are also concerns that the technology could be used not just for treatment, but for enhancement, modification or alteration of a human beings’ appearance, adaptability,
    intelligence, character or behavior.

  • [79][80] Applications Genetic engineering has applications in medicine, research, industry and agriculture and can be used on a wide range of plants, animals and microorganisms.

  • [141] Applications of genetic engineering in conservation are thus far mostly theoretical and have yet to be put into practice.

  • If genetic material from the same species or a species that can naturally breed with the host is used the resulting organism is called cisgenic.

  • Thus the time and place where a particular protein is produced can be observed.


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