Gene Splicing


Can someone explain in simple terms what is gene splicing?

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Picture this: all cells have an instruction manual that tells them what to do, when to do it and how to do it. That’s how the DNA codes for proteins to make your cells function properly.

Now, a washing machine has a different manual from, let’s say a dishwasher (=different animals and species have different genes, allowing different functions). You can open your instruction manual to a specific chapter and start following the instructions: you are now expressing a specific gene (=a specific part of your DNA). But what you could do is take some pages from your washing machine’s manual, and then tape them into the middle of your dishwasher’s manual. What you now have is a new manual, that can be used for your dishwasher, but that has some additional instructions.

In other words: gene splicing is the process of inserting genes from one species into the genome of another species. For example, you can take the GFP gene, which serves to make the GFP protein. That protein allows some jellyfish to emit green light. You can take these instructions from their genome, splice them into the genome of another species like a bacteria (= copy-paste it there), and now your bacteria have the instructions to shine green light. Or you could make a green mouse.