Genetic Engineering - An Overview of Common Techniques

Jeffrey Krall


Humans have been altering the genomes of plants and animals since the beginning of agriculture. Around 11,000 years ago, the first permanent human settlements began to develop and farming techniques began. Plants that produced larger fruits, were more resistant to drought, or were more resistant to pests were used to seed the next harvest. Over many generations, these plants were selected for their beneficial characteristics and became distinct from their wild counterparts. In a similar manner, animals were also subjected to selective breeding.

Only in the past 100 years have humans been more involved in the process of altering genomes, beginning with radiation bombardment and ending with more refined techniques, such as DNA transformation. In this time, many genome-altering techniques have been discovered, however, there are still many techniques that need to be refined and researched.


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