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Stacie Austin BIOL 1107L 2:30 Tuesday Weidong
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April McDaniel Sam Traver Song Kue Spring 2008
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During the middle of the twentieth century, scientists discovered that bacteria were able to stop the growth of foreign DNA, or viruses developing in the strands of DNA in the host. The bacteria’s
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ability to stop the virus from developing further is a result of the bacteria’s DNA containing restriction enzymes, or restriction endonucleases. The viruses in bacteria are called bacteriophage, and since scientists have discovered the complete DNA sequence and all 48,502 base pairs in bacteriophage lambda DNA, bacteriophage lambda DNA can be tested with any restriction enzyme and should further be able to predict the end results of the test even before the test is performed. How do restriction enzymes work, and how can these restriction enzymes be indentified? According to Dr. Geoffrey G. Wilson’s study of restriction and modification systems of DNA, along with countless other similar studies by scientists, restriction endonucleases “cleave double stranded DNA into fragments at specific points, which are then broken down further by other endonucleases. This prevents infection by destroying the foreign DNA, or virus in the DNA strand, introduced by the bacteriophage (Wilson).” A few weeks ago, our lab used gel electrophoresis to analyze the digested lambda DNA and the restriction enzymes used to break down the lambda DNA. The enzymes used were Eco RI, Bam HI, and
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