Recombinant DNA (rDNA) is a technology that uses enzymes to cut and paste together DNA sequences of interest. The recombined DNA sequences can be placed into vehicles called vectors that ferry the DNA into a suitable host cell where it can be copied or expressed.
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Pieces of DNA, such as human DNA, can be engineered in a fashion that allows them to be copied, or replicated, in bacteria or yeast. This involves attaching appropriate elements to a piece of DNA and then transferring into a bacterial or yeast cell, with those elements then instructing the bacterial or yeast cell to copy this DNA along with its own. This process is known as DNA cloning, with the resulting cloned DNA often referred to as recombinant DNA.
Name: Eric D. Green, M.D., Ph.D.
Occupation: Director, NHGRI
Biography: Dr. Green's research focuses on three major areas: First, sequencing and comparing targeted stretches of DNA from a wide variety of species en route to unraveling the complexities of genome function; second, developing innovative research tools and technologies for performing genome analysis; and third, identifying and characterizing genes associated with human disease. In his multiple roles as scientific director of NHGRI, chief of the Genome Technology Branch, and director of the NIH Intramural Sequencing Center (NISC), he has fundamental interests in mapping, sequencing, and interpreting vertebrate genomes.