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The U.S. National Academy of Sciences has declared gene editing one of the breakthroughs needed to improve food production so the world can feed billions more people amid a changing climate.And after years of confusion and rancor, will shoppers accept gene-edited foods or view them as GMOs in disguise?Scientists even hope gene editing eventually could save species from being wiped out by devastating diseases like citrus greening, a so far unstoppable infection that's destroying Florida's famed oranges. First they must find genes that could make a new generation of trees immune.GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants or animals that were mixed with another species' DNA to introduce a specific trait they're "transgenic".Now gene-editing tools, with names like CRISPR and TALENs, promise to alter foods more precisely and cheaply without necessarily adding foreign DNA.The technology can insert new DNA, but most products in development so far switch off a gene, according to University of Missouri professor Nicholas Kalaitzandonakes.Recombinetics Inc. swapped part of the gene that makes dairy cows grow horns with the DNA instructions from naturally hornless Angus beef cattle.
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