Genetically modified organism (GMO)
Last reviewed:January 2020
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An organism that has had its genetic material manipulated or altered in a laboratory setting through the use of genetic or genomic engineering techniques. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are microorganisms, plants, or animals that have been modified artificially in a laboratory or biological facility by recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technologies. Researchers employ these techniques to modify specific parts of an organism's genome through deletion, alteration, or the insertion of new genetic sequences. The manipulations undertaken by researchers typically involve changes to the organism's genetic material that do not occur naturally through gene fusion, mutation, or natural recombination. Other terms for genetically modified organisms include genetically engineered organisms, bioengineered organisms, and transgenic organisms (in this latter case, genes are transferred from one species to another). See also: Biotechnology; CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing; Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA); Gene; Genetic engineering; Genetics; Genomics; Mutation; Recombination (genetics)
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