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Name: Kyle
Status: Student
Age: 18
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: March 2004


Question:
Why are some bacteria more resistant to UV light? What kind of specific experiments would determine uv resistantance?



Replies:
UV light can cause "spelling errors" in the DNA. Many organisms have DNA repair mechanisms that help correct these errors. Think of it as kind of a molecular "spell check." Some bacteria have these spell checker and some don't. You and I also have these repair mechanisms. There are some people who don't have the ability to repair these mistakes and they are much more susceptible to cancer than someone with normal repair mechanisms. You can use a UV lamp to shine light on different kinds of bacteria for varying amounts of time to determine how resistant they are. Be very careful when using UV light however, it can damage your skin and eyes. Make sure you have an adult help you.

vanhoeck



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