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Name: Jean
Status: Student
Grade:  9-12
Location: MD
Country: United States
Date: November 2007

Is genetic engineering of bacteria is the same as bacterial transformation?

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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