What is gene editing?
Every mom or dad contributes 3 billion letters, for a total of 6 billion to an offspring’s DNA or “book of life.” This book is written with the letters A, G, T, and C, arranged in pairs in a nearly infinite combination resulting in a beautifully diverse set of outcomes. Gene editing allows us to write optimized prose in an animal to genetically improve it.
Sequencing of the human genome in 2003 was a watershed moment in modern biology. The mapping of the genomes of other complex animals followed, as did improved genetic engineering tools to help modify genes and go beyond ‘reading’ to accurately and efficiently “editing” the genes of animals.
Gene editing is a revolutionary scientific advance
Numerous technological advances over the last decade, many of which were invented or refined by the company’s founders and scientific team, make it possible to modify animal genomes more accurately and more efficiently than ever. Recombinetics currently uses tools like TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9, which act as “molecular scissors” to precisely cut into DNA to remove genes and replace optimal genes from the same species.
RCI specializes in the targeted editing of genomes to produce animals with enhanced value. The precision and efficiency of the tools RCI uses are 10 million-fold higher than those that existed just 15 years ago.
RCI utilizes three types of genome editing:
- Editing a gene so that it either is inactivated or contains a desirable characteristic;
- Adding a gene to a specific site in the genome, for example, to express a protein for a specific purpose in a specific cell type; and
- Adding a new gene that confers a unique phenotype on the resulting animal, for example, disease resistance.
The products developed from gene editing are not GMO
A GMO is an organism produced by introducing DNA not native to a species. Gene editing makes changes to optimize the function of the same species.