Thinking Like a Scientist Handout 3B
Plasmid and Bacteria Scenario
Congratulations! Through careful research your team has discovered a
procedure for introducing small DNA fragments into a bacterial cell. This
procedure, called transformation, involves inserting plasmids--a circular,
self-replicating form of DNA found in many species of bacteria--into bacterial
cells. To do this you add the plasmid DNA to a bacterial culture. Under
the right conditions, the bacteria will take up the plasmid DNA from solution.
As the bacterium reproduces, so does the recombinant plasmid. The final
result is a bacterial colony in which the foreign plasmid has been cloned,
creating genetically identical cells.
You have developed a way to insert foreign DNA into a cell so that it
replicates and functions normally to create genetically identical clones.
However, you still need a way to change the type of genetic information
that the plasmids carry into the cell.
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