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genetic engineering

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noun Genetics.
  1. the development and application of scientific methods, procedures, and technologies that permit direct manipulation of genetic material in order to alter the hereditary traits of a cell, organism, or population.
  2. a technique that produces unlimited amounts of otherwise unavailable or scarce biological product by introducing DNA isolated from animals or plants into bacteria and then harvesting the product from a bacterial colony, as human insulin produced in bacteria by the human insulin gene.

Origin of genetic engineering

First recorded in 1965–70
Also called biogenetics.
Related formsgenetic engineer, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for genetic engineering

genetic engineering

noun
  1. alteration of the DNA of a cell for purposes of research, as a means of manufacturing animal proteins, correcting genetic defects, or making improvements to plants and animals bred by man
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

genetic engineering in Science

genetic engineering

  1. 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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

genetic engineering in Culture

genetic engineering

The manipulation of DNA to produce new types of organisms, usually by inserting or deleting genes.

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.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.