Genetics

What we risk as humans if we allow gene-edited babies

A second woman is said to be pregnant with a gene-edited baby in China, according to reports this year. It follows revelations last November that gene-edited twins had been born, which caused much debate.

Medical research

Gene therapy for blood disorders

Gene therapy holds a lot of promise in medicine. If we could safely alter our own DNA, we might eliminate diseases our ancestors passed down to us.

Genetics

How to edit your mitochondria

Mitochondrial genetic engineering is the adaptation of genetic engineering techniques to specific mitochondrial problems. Although it is not common to be born with severe mitochondrial issues, we will all eventually have ...

Genetics

New insight into how autism might develop in human brain

In a study published in Stem Cell Reports, a McGill team of scientists led by Dr. Carl Ernst, researcher at the Douglas Hospital Research Centre, revealed a molecular mechanism that may play a role in the development of autism.

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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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