Creating a bacterial kill switch using genome engineering

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Researchers announced in 2011 that they had reprogrammed the genome of the bacteria E. coli so that one of DNA’s methods of encoding information went unused.  While a technological breakthrough, the scientists didn’t do anything with the new bit of genetic code.  Now only a few years later, two different groups have taken this technological tour-de-force, and are using it in the same way:  creating genetically modified organisms that may never be able to escape into the wild.

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