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Methods and Applications of Genetic Engineering


cloning host

organism used to replicate a DNA sequence

clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)

group of bacterial DNA sequences that is used to defend against viruses. The system can be altered and used to target and modify specific gene sequences.

complementary DNA (cDNA)

DNA molecule synthesized from a single-stranded RNA template by a reverse transcriptase enzyme

DNA clone

identical copy of a DNA molecule replicated in a population of cloning hosts

DNA polymerase

enzyme in DNA replication that assembles the new strands of DNA from the template strands

DNA profiling

any of the techniques used for differentiating between two unrelated individuals' DNA

DNA vector

carrier of recombinant DNA

gel electrophoresis

technique that separates DNA and other molecules based on their size using an electric charge

gene probe

short sequence of DNA with a radioactive or fluorescent label

gene therapy

use of recombinant DNA technology to modify a person's genes to combat a disease

genomic library

collection of cloning hosts that collectively contain complementary DNA of all expressed genes from a cell or organism

guide RNA

single-stranded short RNA molecule used by CRISPR that is complementary to a DNA sequence


bind with complementary single-stranded DNA sequences


small, circular piece of bacterial DNA that replicates on its own and can be transferred between cells

polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

technique for rapidly producing many copies of a section of DNA

recombinant DNA

DNA created from more than one individual, possibly of a different species

restriction endonuclease

enzyme that cuts DNA at specific locations

restriction fragment

small piece of DNA that results from cutting a larger piece of DNA with a restriction endonuclease

restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP)

technique used to differentiate unlike DNA sequences by cutting the sequences with restriction endonuclease enzymes and visualizing the varying lengths of the resultant restriction fragments

reverse transcriptase

enzyme that uses RNA as a template to make a DNA copy

single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)

place in the genome where a single nucleotide is substituted for another


containing recombinant DNA from another species