In 2009, genetic researchers Harris Wang and George Church developed MAGE as an innovative genetic engineering tool that allows multiple changes to occur simultaneously in an organism’s DNA, making genetic engineering much more efficient while expanding its scope of applications.

Genetic engineers currently employ MAGE to bring extinct animals back into existence such as woolly mammoths and passenger pigeons, create disease-resistant crops and study diseases such as cancer, aging, obesity, heart disease and anxiety.

Multiplex Automated Genome Engineering (MAGE)

In 2009, Harvard Medical School researchers Harris Wang and George Church developed the MAGE technique, enabling scientists to quickly edit an organism’s genome by swapping out multiple sites at once. This form of accelerated evolution has transformed how scientists use microbes for everything from medicines, biofuels and industrial chemicals production, as well as further understanding human disease.

Genetic engineers had historically relied on targetable nucleases to modify an organism’s DNA, using these tools to introduce mutations at specific points within its genome before letting cells reproduce and pass along this new genetic material.

MAGE technology allows scientists to rapidly generate various mutant strains of E. coli at once by employing oligos to edit its genomes. In this virtual laboratory simulation, you will use MAGE to increase beta-carotene production within E. coli and therefore improve children’s eyesight by designing optimal oligos before watching MAGE cycles unfold in 3D animations.

Gene Targeting

Gene targeting is a genome engineering technology that allows researchers to insert any DNA sequence directly into a gene of interest on any chromosome, creating precise genetic modifications with conditions. Gene targeting allows researchers to delete genes or exons, introduce point mutations into individual base pairs, or trigger conditional genetic modifications under specific circumstances.

Since its advent, gene targeting has revolutionized scientific medicine by providing scientists with a way to test hypotheses about gene function in living organisms. Complex diseases involving multiple genes or complex interactions between gene-environment interactions were difficult to dissect until gene targeting methods allowed experimental validation of causal relationships between causal hypotheses and disease outcomes.

This approach utilizes a donor vector with engineered nuclease recognition sites to create double-strand breaks in any desired target gene and then excises and inserts target DNA without creating other cell modifications. It’s highly flexible, easily adaptable to nearly any gene of interest, and produces few or no adverse side effects in cells.

Genetically Modified Animal Models

Researchers using genetic modification on animals such as mice and other mammals allow researchers to investigate how different gene mutations impact physiological functions, such as how an inefficient or toxic protein affects cells or understanding which proteins play key roles in cell function. This research can then inform clinical decision making.

Transgenesis and gene targeting enable scientists to inject genes into an animal’s genome in order to modify a trait it doesn’t normally possess. Unfortunately, adding new genetic sequences into an animal’s DNA isn’t always straightforward, with changes made to one gene often having knock-on effects (i.e. position and copy number effects).

Although GE animals are currently not consumed directly as food sources, their use as research models can yield numerous advantages, including improving human health and nutrition and creating cutting-edge industrial applications. BIO is committed to developing and promoting stewardship programs for these animals that ensure good animal welfare standards while upholding industry credibility and fulfilling regulatory requirements.

Genetically Modified Plant Models

Gene technology applied to plants, animals and microorganisms used as food has generated much debate, with certain groups objecting to its introduction into crops for consumption. Institutional Biosafety Committees (IBCs) serve both as gatekeepers and facilitators of basic science research that advances human health and food security through innovations that improve crop varieties.

A genetically modified plant (GM plant) is defined as one that has had DNA from another organism transferred via various techniques, with Agrobacterium tumefaciens being the most popular way of doing this, or AMGGT for short.

Most GMOs are designed for laboratory research purposes, such as animal models of diseases. This allows scientists to study how specific genes relate to specific conditions like cancer, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, depression anxiety and aging.

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