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Ch.13 - Alison Lindsay Ch.11 The Beginnings of DNA...

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Alison Lindsay 2/28/09 Ch.11 The Beginnings of DNA Technology The use of organisms to perform practical tasks for humans is called biotechnology . On the forefront of biotechnology today are applications that analyze and manipulate the genomes of organisms at the molecular level. This branch of biotechnology is called DNA technology. Scientists have been able to apply these natural processes to transfer DNA into bacteria. 1940s- Joshua Lederberg and Edward Tatum demonstrated that two bacteria can pass genetic material between each other. two other ways that bacteria acquire new combinations of genes- Viruses and plasmids. Recombinant DNA technology combines genes from different sources into a single DNA molecule DNA Technology and Frontiers of Research in Biology Knowledge about genomes can lead to useful applications. Making things a more nutritious food source. The many similarities among the genomes of different kinds of organisms also means that research on simpler organisms can sometimes be applied to human biology. In addition to the many applications in fields such as medicine and agriculture, analyzing and manipulating genomes can help answer one of biology's most important questions: "How does a complex multicellular organism develop from a single cell?" Engineering Bacteria: An Introduction A plasmid is a small, circular DNA molecule separate from the much larger bacterial chromosome. Like a chromosome, a plasmid may carry a number of genes, and can make copies of itself. When a plasmid replicates, one copy can pass from one bacterial cell to another, resulting in gene "sharing" among bacteria. In some instances, gene transfer by plasmids can spread traits that help the bacterial cells survive. As a result, an increasing variety of bacteria that cause human disease are becoming resistant to current antibiotics.
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