GENETIC ENGINEERING TAKES A U-TURN
Scientists are constantly looking for new ways to turn genes on and off, for research purposes and for use in industrial biotechnology. But existing techniques can be very inefficient, particularly for inactivating genes.
Now Peter M. Waterhouse and colleagues of CSIRO Plant Industry, Canberra, Australia, announce a new twist on existing gene inactivation techniques, which they dub ‘intron-spliced hairpin RNA’ — that has almost 100% efficiency at silencing a gene [Nature, VOL. 407 NO. 6802 DATED 21 SEPTEMBER 2000, pp. 319–320].
They use this method to block the infection of tobacco plants by a plant virus known as PVY. "These constructs could prove valuable in reverse genetics, genomics, engineering of metabolic pathways and protection against pathogens," the researchers note.
Peter M. Waterhouse
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