Interviewee: Mario Capecchi.
Mario Capecchi discusses homologous recombination, the technique he developed to introduce a desired mutation into the DNA of living cells.
(DNAi Location: Applications > Genes and medicine > Gene targeting > Mario Capecchi > Homologous recombination)
In this vial we have embryo-derived stem cells, these are pluripotent cells which we can keep in a state of limbo. They're normally capable of making all different tissues, but when they're in isolation they simply stay as undifferentiated cells. We add to this vial also the DNA that we want to modify that has the gene modification, then we introduce, we put electric probes into that solution and then we push a button and that gives rise essentially to a voltage across those cells, opens up little holes in the cells and the DNA slips inside and then participates in what's called homologous recombination to introduce the mutation we created in the test tube to the genome of the living cells. Then by taking those cells and introducing them into an embryo, then they can actually make a mouse embryo and thereby introduce that mutation we created in the test tube to the genome of the living mouse.