Biology as Poetry: Genetics

Bacteriophage Ecology Group

Genetic Engineering

Manipulation of DNA by artificial means such that the DNA located within a living organism becomes modified.

Typically this involves isolation or chemical synthesis of DNA that is followed by in vitro manipulation and then either insertion or reinsertion into one or more cells. Generally this is done for the sake of modifying the phenotype of the organism either for the sake of experimentation or for the sake of a biotechological endpoint (i.e., to produce some useful product).

Note that by artificial manipulation I explicitly mean not natural, that is, not involving especially spontaneous mutation or normal sexual processes. That is, animal and plant breeding is a biotechnological process that has been practices for millennia, but which has not, until fairly recently, involved genetic engineering.

Genetic engineering often involves the creation of clones, the generation of recombinant DNA, and/or site-directed mutagenesis.

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