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Genetic Engineering

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on

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TransgeneCloned genes being introduced into host (usually eukaryotic).
Transgenic OrganismOrganism receiving transgene.
Ectopic insertionsWhen transgenes are inserted randomly into genome.
Targeted InsertionTargeted insertion (aka gene targeting) is when an inserted transgene replaces homologous sequence on genome.
RetrovirusesAdvantages: integrates genes into host chromosomes, offering chance for long-term stability. Drawbacks: genes integrate randomly so might disrupt host genes; may infect only dividing cells.
AdenovirusesAdvantages: Most do not cause serious disease; large capacity for foreign genes. Drawbacks: genes may function transiently, owing to lack of integration or to attack by the immune system.
Adeno-associated virusesAdvantages: Integrate genes into host chromosomes; cause no known human diseases. Drawback: Small capacity for foreign genes.