Genetic Engineering and Transformation
Country: United States
Date: November 2007
Is genetic engineering of bacteria is the same as
Genetic engineering is usually done on plasmids which are round,
extrachromosomal pieces of DNA that are not part of the bacterial
chromosome. They can be removed from bacteria and cut with restriction
enzymes. New genes from other organisms can be inserted into the plasmid.
But the plasmid needs to be taken up by a second bacterium to get the genes
on the plasmid to be expressed by a living organism. Genes are useless
unless they can be "read" by a living thing. So transformation is the
process of getting a bacterium to take up the plasmid.
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Update: June 2012