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Thread: How do scientists just "add" a specific gene to a

  1. #1 How do scientists just "add" a specific gene to a  
    Forum Ph.D. Raziell's Avatar
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    How exactly does the process of taking a trait from one species genes to another work?

    I mean if you want to change the DNA of a subject, by adding a trait. How do you physically "take" that trait from one specimen and add it to another?


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    The nonspecific answer is you clone a target gene from some organism and insert it into another using a vector. Then some homologous recombination happens and you got a chimera. The way you do this would depend on what kind of organism you are trying to put a gene into.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transgenic
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_targeting


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  4. #3 Re: How do scientists just "add" a specific gene t 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    How exactly does the process of taking a trait from one species genes to another work?

    I mean if you want to change the DNA of a subject, by adding a trait. How do you physically "take" that trait from one specimen and add it to another?
    When you insert a gene from one animal and place it into another animal you can't always be so precise as to guarantee specific phenotypes. Many genes usually work in unison to perform certain functions or to express certain traits. This is why its so difficult at the moment to create induced pluripotent stem cells without a worry of cancerous tumors...the Oct4 and Sox2 genes are overexpressed in cancers yet help to form iPS cells. There is a thin line between a miracle cure and an EPIC, potentially fatal fail. In Hox genes, however, (homeobox domain) the genes are so similar ( highly conserved across vast evolutionary distances, in the scientific lingo) and their purpose so certainly established that a fruit fly can use a chicken Hox gene in place of its own to form a limb or antennae.
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  5. #4 Re: How do scientists just "add" a specific gene t 
    Moderator Moderator TheBiologista's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raziell
    How exactly does the process of taking a trait from one species genes to another work?

    I mean if you want to change the DNA of a subject, by adding a trait. How do you physically "take" that trait from one specimen and add it to another?
    Take cells from donor, lyse them and isolate the DNA, amplify the DNA and clone the gene desired into a vector and use a delivery system to insert that vector into the recipient. Simple! In an adult recipient that delivery is only going to modify a subset of their cells though. And it might not be very stable. Extend of both factors depends on the vector and delivery system.

    Adding to I_Feel's sources I'd suggest you read:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_delivery (a stub with some good links)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gene_therapy (Modification of humans and other animals)
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