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Engineered nucleases enable the targeted alteration of nearly any gene in a wide range of cell types and organisms. The newly-developed transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) comprise a nonspecific DNA-cleaving nuclease fused to a DNA-binding domain that can be easily engineered so that TALENs can target essentially any sequence. The capability to quickly and efficiently alter genes using TALENs promises to have profound impacts on biological research and to yield potential therapeutic strategies for genetic diseases.
(Joung and Sander, 2013) TALENs: a widely applicable technology for targeted genome editing. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol.