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|genetic engineering |
The science of altering and cloning genes to produce a new trait in an organism or to make a biological substance, such as a protein or hormone. Genetic engineering mainly involves the creation of recombinant DNA, which is then inserted into the genetic material of a cell or virus.
Note: Genetic engineering has been developed commercially, with uses such as producing human insulin or bacteria that will keep plants from freezing in a mild frost. It is also used to produce genetically modified organisms.
Note: U.S. courts have ruled that the products of genetic engineering can be patented.
Note: There is often controversy about the risk involved in releasing genetically engineered organisms into the environment.