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Genetic engineering is a catchall term for the development of substantially novel living organisms and marks a breakthrough from selective breeding or conventional hybridization, agricultural practices that have gone on without controversy for centuries. In its most common form, genetic engineering describes the direct transfer of genetic material across or within an organism’s genome, which is then described as a transgenic organism, a genetically engineered organism, (GE) or a genetically modified organism (GMO). GMOs breed true, while hybrids do not; the entire germ line of the modified organisms is permanently reconfigured. Scientists and private industry embrace transgenic modification because this allows for more precise insertion of genes carrying the desired traits into target organisms. Genetic engineering is used in a variety of contexts. It has ...

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