gene editing

variants: or genome editing

Definition of gene editing 

: the use of biotechnological techniques to make changes to specific DNA sequences in the genome of a living organism Fundamental research into the ways by which bacteria defend themselves against viruses has recently led to the development of powerful new techniques that make it possible to perform gene editing—that is, precisely altering genetic sequences—in living cells, including those of humans, at much higher accuracy and efficiency than ever before possible.— David Baltimore et al. The era of straightforward genome editing raises ethical questions that will need to be addressed by scientists and society at large.— Jennifer A. Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier often hyphenated when used before another noun a gene-editing technique called CRISPR

Examples of gene editing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Researchers at Imperial College London used the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing technology to spread a genetic modification that blocked female reproduction in the lab mosquitoes. James Rogers, Fox News, "Malaria 'breakthrough': Disease-carrying mosquitoes wiped out in major lab experiment," 25 Sep. 2018 Researchers are exploring ways to use gene editing to treat a range of diseases, such as cystic fibrosis, hemophilia and sickle cell disease. Rebecca Lurye,, "Gene Editing Shows Promise In Yale Study," 29 June 2018 Scientists have successfully used CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing to lessen some symptoms of autism in mice. Emily Price, Fortune, "Scientists Successfully Reduce Autism Symptoms in Mice Through Gene Editing," 27 June 2018 However, gene editing technology using a technique called CRISPR is advancing at lightning speed. National Geographic, "Could Humans and Dinosaurs Coexist? Here's the Science.," 22 June 2018 That cure might come from the hot new gene editing technology called CRISR. Bradley J. Fikes,, "Vertex Pharmaceuticals opens expanded San Diego research center with focus on cystic fibrosis," 18 June 2018 Just as the exponential miniaturization of silicon wafers propelled the computing industry forward, so too will the massive parallelization of gene editing push the boundaries of biology into the future. Megan Molteni, WIRED, "Biology Will Be the Next Great Computing Platform," 3 May 2018 China is also seeking a lead in gene editing in human medicine and livestock, in some cases pursuing research with fewer regulatory restrictions than U.S. counterparts. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Scientists in China Race to Edit Crop Genes, Sowing Unease in U.S.," 6 May 2018 While those companies situate the bulk of their gene editing efforts in the U.S., Syngenta is basing its efforts in Beijing, where around 50 employees now research the technology. Lucy Craymer, WSJ, "Scientists in China Race to Edit Crop Genes, Sowing Unease in U.S.," 6 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'gene editing.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of gene editing

1990, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about gene editing

Share gene editing

Statistics for gene editing

Last Updated

7 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for gene editing

The first known use of gene editing was in 1990

See more words from the same year

Comments on gene editing

What made you want to look up gene editing? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!