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Genome engineering

Nature Biotechnology volume 27, pages 11511162 (2009) | Download Citation

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Abstract

For more than 50 years, those engineering genetic material have pursued increasingly challenging targets. During that time, the tools and resources available to the genetic engineer have grown to encompass new extremes of both scale and precision, opening up new opportunities in genome engineering. Today, our capacity to generate larger de novo assemblies of DNA is increasing at a rapid pace (with concomitant decreases in manufacturing cost). We are also witnessing potent demonstrations of the power of merging randomness and selection with engineering approaches targeting large numbers of specific sites within genomes. These developments promise genetic engineering with unprecedented levels of design originality and offer new avenues to expand both our understanding of the biological world and the diversity of applications for societal benefit.

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Acknowledgements

The authors wish to acknowledge helpful discussions with J. Jacobson, A. Forster, B. Chow, members of the Church and Jacobson laboratories and the comments of anonymous reviewers. Grant support has been provided by Department of Energy-GTL, National Science Foundation (SynBERC, Center for Bits and Atoms, and Genes and Genomes Systems Cluster) and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency programmable matter programs.

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Affiliations

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Media Lab, Center for Bits and Atoms, Massachusetts, Cambridge, USA.

    • Peter A Carr
  2. Harvard Medical School, Department of Genetics, Massachusetts, Cambridge, USA.

    • George M Church

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Competing interests

G.M.C. serves in an advisory role for several companies: Gen9, LS9, Joule Biotechnologies, Sigma-Aldrich. P.A.C. has no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Peter A Carr.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nbt.1590

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