Scientist have produced genetically modified goats to produce large quantities of a spider silk, one of the strongest substances known to man. The transplanted gene allows the goat to produce milk containing an extra protein, which is then extracted and spun into spider silk thread. Spider silk fiber could have several medical uses, such as for […]

Rice, engineered to contain human genes, will be grown outdoors in the hope of reaching commercial production standards. It’s made by the biotechnology company, Ventria Bioscience, in Junction City, Kansas. Ventria has been cultivating rice with genes from the human liver for the purpose of extracting artificial proteins for use in pharmaceuticals. Ventria has developed […]

In what experts are calling a “revolutionary” medical event, the first baby with DNA from three parents has been born using a controversial technique meant to help people who carry genes for fatal rare diseases.

The baby was born on April 6, 2016, and he appears healthy.

The procedure was done by U.S. fertility specialists working in Mexico, where there are no laws prohibiting such methods. His mother carries a genetic mutation for Leigh syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that usually becomes apparent in the first year of life and is generally fatal.

She had four miscarriages and two children who died from Leigh syndrome, one at age six and one at eight months. Symptoms of Leigh disease usually progress rapidly and lead to generalized weakness, a lack of muscle tone and a buildup of lactic acid in the body, which can cause respiratory and kidney problems.

The procedure, called spindle nuclear transfer, involves removing the healthy nucleus from one of the mother’s eggs and transferring it to a donor egg which had had its nucleus removed. The resulting egg – with nuclear DNA from the mother and mitochondrial DNA from a donor – was then fertilized with the father’s sperm.

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What we’ve had for years: A gene gun is a device for delivering exogenous DNA (transgenes) to cells. The payload is an elemental particle of a heavy metal coated with DNA. This technique is often referred to as biolistics. Gene guns can be used effectively on most cells but are mainly used on plant cells.  […]