Creating a bacterial kill switch using genome engineering


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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