Genetic Engineering & Gene Therapy

Genetic engineering also called genetic modification or genetic manipulation, is the direct manipulation of an organism's genes using biotechnology. 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. New DNA is obtained by both isolating and copying the genetic material of interest using recombinant DNA methods or by artificially synthesizing the DNA. A construct is usually created and used to insert this DNA into the host organism. The first recombinant DNA molecule was made by Paul Berg in 1972 by combining DNA from the monkey virus SV40 with the lambda virus. As well as inserting genes, the process can be used to remove, or "knock out", genes. The new DNA can be inserted randomly, or targeted to a specific part of the genome.

Gene Therapy, In the medicine field, gene therapy (also called human gene transfer) is the therapeutic delivery of nucleic acid into a patient's cells as a drug to treat disease. The first attempt at modifying human DNA was performed by Martin Cline, but the first successful nuclear gene transfer in humans, approved by the National Institutes of Health, was performed in 1989. The first therapeutic use of gene transfer, as well as the first direct insertion of human DNA into the nuclear genome, was performed by French Anderson in a trial.

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