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WHAT IS IT?

The code of life; Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA) is a complex molecule that guides growth, development, function and reproduction of every living thing. Information is encoded in the structure of molecule. Genetic Engineering involves editing the DNA to change the traits of organisms. CRISPR is a powerful tool to edit genomes. 

The protein CAS9 is capable of cutting the DNA.

SALIENT FEATURES 

There are many genetically modified organisms used today in the food industry, especially meat sector. Genetic engineering is also widely used in the medicine industry to produce insulin for diabetic patients. Genetic engineering at research stages involves replacing the faulty gene of an embryo which might be carrying a genetic disorder. Genetic engineers today believe that it is possible to edit the genome of humans to alter certain traits. 

CRISPR-CAS9 can help defeat cancer by editing immune cells and making them better cancer hunters. 

HOW WE WENT ABOUT WITH IT 

We used PPTs and graphic videos to explain the basic concept of genetic engineering, its procedure and how it is done today. To show the structure of DNA and the placement of nucleotides, we created a 3D model of the double helix that showed the hydrogen bonds between Adenine, Guanine, Thymine and Cytosine. We also wanted to show the audience a snippet of an actual DNA strand so we conducted an experiment deriving the DNA from strawberries.

MORE FACTS December 10, 2018: A scientist in China successfully altered the faulty genes of twin babies during the procedure of IVF. CRISPR CAS9 tech is a defense system used to make bacteria fight against viruses

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