Bacteria, yeast, and some higher eukaryotic cells contain molecules know as plasmids. "Plasmids are circular, double stranded, DNA molecules that are separate from a cell 's chromosomal DNA. " They have the ability to replicate themselves separately within the host cell. Some bacterial cells may contain hundreds of plasmid molecules that have replicated. Plasmids display either a parasitic or symbiotic relationship towards the host cell. An example of a symbiotic relationship is that a drug-resistant plasmid can help the bacterial host cell to survive against antibiotics. As doctors have continued to treat many bacterial infections with antibiotics many plasmids have evolved to have drug-resistant genes. Some plasmids can have genes that offer resistance to more than one type of antibiotic. They can greatly differ in size with some being only be 100 base pairs long while others can be hundreds of thousands of base pairs long.1
Plasmids that are found within a bacterial cell contain two major groups of genes. The first type of gene within plasmids are referred to as the backbone genes. Backbone genes help the plasmid to self-replicate, transfer between cells, and sustain itself. These genes can be used to classify plasmids because each family of plasmid contains backbone genes that are different than other families. The other major type of gene within plasmids are known as accessory genes. Accessory genes contain functions that can be encoded into the host cell. The genes that encode for drug resistance against antibiotics are accessory genes. This group of genes are not vital for the plasmids survival and replication. However, host cells that contain plasmids with accessory genes may have a better chance at surviv...
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...as answered when they successfully transferred genes from a tadpole into a bacteria. When the bacteria replicated the tadpole gene was found in all the generations. This method of recombinant DNA technology is another name for genetic engineering.
Today genetic engineering is being used all around the world. Agriculture has been greatly influenced by the ability to produce hardier crops. Scientists have been able to create hybrids or new species of crops that are more resistant to pests, need less water, and provide more nutritional value. Scientists have also started to alter animal DNA. To combat diabetes, scientists have placed human genes into pigs to create insulin. Many other tests are being conducted on numerous different animals. Genetic engineering has lead to many beneficial outcomes, but there are many ethical issues that have come into the light.5
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