Genetic technologies such as genetic modification (GM) and genome editing tools and techniques are used to change the genetic code of plants, animals or microbes. The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) invests in research that uses genetic technologies for two broad purposes. A large part of the research is aimed at uncovering fundamental understanding about the biology of living organisms. Other research has more specific goals such as improving crops or livestock or producing medicines or other chemicals from microbes.
Genome editing is a molecular biology technique that allows targeted mutations to be introduced into an organism’s DNA. There are a raft of technologies which are broadly grouped together as genome editing. Genome editing is seen as a step-change in molecular biology due to its relative ease and rapidity of application.
BBSRC invests in genome editing research for a number of reasons including to understand fundamental biology and to explore modifying crops, animals or microbes to be more useful.
For BBSRC’s position on specific uses of genome editing, see:
- Genome-editing position statement: Initial joint statement from BBSRC and other research funders in support of the continued use of genome-editing techniques in preclinical research
- New Techniques for Genetic Crop Improvement – position statement.
Last updated: 31 March 2022