Microorganisms have been exploited for their specific biochemical and physiological properties from the earliest times for baking, brewing, and food preservation and more recently for producing antibiotics, solvents, amino acids, feed supplements, and chemical feedstuffs. Over time, there has been continuous selection by scientists of special strains of microorganisms, based on their efficiency to perform a desired function. Progress, however, has been slow, often difficult to explain, and hard to repeat. Recent developments in molecular biology and genetic engineering could provide novel solutions to long-standing problems. Over the past decade, scientists have developed the techniques to move a gene from one organism to another, based on discoveries of how cells store, duplicate, and transfer genetic information.
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Last date updated on June, 2014