- genetic engineering
- genetic engineering -.en-jə-'nir-iŋ n the group of applied techniques of genetics and biotechnology used to cut up and join together genetic material and esp. DNA from one or more species of organism and to introduce the result into an organism in order to change one or more of its characteristicsgenetically engineered adjgenetic engineer n
* * *the techniques involved in altering the characteristics of an organism by inserting genes from another organism into its DNA. This altered DNA (known as recombinant DNA) is usually produced by isolating foreign genes, often by the use of restriction enzyme, and inserting them into bacterial DNA, often using viruses as vector. Once inserted, the foreign gene may use the cell machinery of its host to synthesize the protein that it originally coded for in the organism it was derived from. For example, the human genes for insulin, interferon, and growth hormone production have been incorporated into bacterial DNA and such genetically engineered bacteria are used in the commercial production of these substances. Some other applications of genetic engineering include DNA analysis, the production of monoclonal antibody, and - more recently - gene therapy.
* * *the directed manipulation of the genome of a living organism for a variety of analytical, industrial, and medical applications; many of the methods involved utilize recombinant DNA technology (q.v.).
Medical dictionary. 2011.