What is Genetic Engineering: Definition, Process, Example & Facts

Genetic engineering is the act of modifying the genetic makeup of an organism. It may also mean extracting DNA from another organism’s genome and combining it with the DNA of that individual. Genetic engineering is used by scientists to enhance or modify the characteristics of an individual organism. Modifications can be generated by methods such as gene targeting, nuclear transplantation, transfection of synthetic chromosomes or viral insertion. Selective breeding is not considered a form of genetic engineering.

Genetic engineering process:

Genetic engineering process

The extraction of DNA is the first step of the genetic engineering process. The DNA can be introduced directly into the host organism or modify the characteristics of an individual organism.  A sample of an organism containing the gene of interest is taken through a series of steps to remove the DNA. The process of genetic engineering is not a simple task, as it requires complex machinery and innovative minds. o create large amounts of the cells, the genetically modified bacteria or yeast are grown in large fermentation vessels that contain all the nutrients they need. The more the cells divide, the more insulin is produced.

Examples of genetic engineering:

Examples of genetic engineering

  • The golden rice from the gene donor and gene receivers like carrot and rice benefit the people who have lack of vitamin A in their daily diets and makes the vitamin if they eat modified genetic golden rice.
  • Another one is the Human from the gene donor and gene receiver from the insulin gene from the human and bacteria receiver benefits the human in making insulin that is made cheaply and quickly by bacteria to treat diabetics.
  • The weed killer resistance from the gene donor resistant gene from the plants and the receiver soya beans benefit the genetical soya beans modified which can be sprayed with weed killer which will remain unaffected and weeds will also be killed and this will increase yields of soya.

Genetic energy in food:

Genetic energy in food

Genetic engineering in food can be utilized for the production of improved fruits, vegetables, and food crops. Foods produced from organisms that have had changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering

Genetic engineering in animals:

Genetic engineering in animals

The use of genetic engineering technology in animals has been associated with ethical issues, some of which relate to animal welfare. The productivity of farm animal species can be increased using genetic engineering. Examples include transgenic pigs and sheep that have been genetically altered to express higher levels of growth.

Genetic engineering in humans:

Genetic engineering in humans

The human genetic modification is the direct manipulation of the genome using molecular engineering techniques. Genetic modification can be applied in two very different ways somatic genetic modification and germline genetic modification. A small piece of circular DNA called a plasmid and is extracted from the bacteria or yeast cell. A small section is then cut out of the circular plasmid by restriction enzymes molecular scissors.

Facts about genetic engineering:

Facts about genetic engineering

  • The first genetically modified organism to be created was a bacterium, in 1973.
  • In 1974, the same techniques were applied to mice.
  • In 1994 the first genetically modified foods were made available.
  • Genetic engineering has a number of useful applications, including scientific research, agriculture, and technology.
  • In plants, genetic engineering has been applied to improve the resilience, nutritional value and growth rate of crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, and rice.
  • In humans, the APP gene codes for a protein associated with the amyloid plaques that are characteristic of people with Alzheimer’s disease.


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