Genetic engineering – the process of purposefully altering an organism’s DNA – has been used to create powerful research tools and model organisms, and has also seen many agricultural applications. However, in order to engineer traits to tackle complex agricultural problems such as stress tolerance, or to realize the promise of gene therapy for treating human diseases, further advances in the field are still needed. Important considerations include the safe and efficient delivery of genetic constructs into cells or organisms, and the establishment of the desired modification in an organism’s genome with the least “off-target” effects. JoVE’s Overview of Genetic Engineering will present a history of the field, highlighting the discoveries that confirmed DNA as the genetic material and led to the development of tools to modify DNA. Key questions that must be answered in order to improve the process of genetic engineering will then be introduced, along with various tools used by genetic engineers. Finally, we will survey several applications demonstrating the types of experimental questions and strategies in the field today.…
Transgenesis, or the use of genetic engineering to alter gene expression, is widely used in the field of developmental biology. Scientists use a number of approaches to alter the function of genes to understand their roles in developmental processes. This includes replacement of a gene with a nonfunctional copy, or adding a visualizable tag to a gene that allows the resultant fusion protein to be tracked throughout development.
In this video, the viewers will learn about the principles behind transgenesis, as well as the basic steps for introducing genetic constructs into an animal and targeting genes of interest. This is followed by the discussion of a protocol to create knockout mice. Lastly, some specific applications of transgenic technologies in the field of developmental biology will be reviewed.…
1Department of Ophthalmology, Massachusetts Eye and Ear, 2JoVE Content Production