Gene Expression And Bacterial Transformation Essay

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Introduction: This unit had two labs that developed on the same basic idea: gene expression in bacteria. Gene expression is a highly regulated process in which cells either allow or prevent a certain trait to be shown in the next generation of offspring. One major proponent looked at in the first lab was the DNA plasmid. A DNA plasmid is a short, circular sequence of DNA nucleotides that are common in bacteria, but are rarely found in larger organisms. The plasmids are useful in that they introduce new genetic instructions into bacteria cells. In the case of this lab, the new genetic instruction was that of the Green Fluorescent Protein, better known as GFP. This protein was monitored throughout the experiments as the gene that was expressed or prevented. Along with GFP, these plasmids would often pass along a selection gene like beta-lactamase that would allow for the gene to be expressed in specific environments. One example of such an environment is an ampicillin-rich environment. Day one’s lab focused on bacterial transformation. This process is the way in which new DNA is introduced into a bacteria cell. In this process, the bacterial cells need to be made permeable through treatments by way of heat or by mixing with different salts. Once the bacteria cells are made permeable, the plasmid can introduce the genetic instructions used for GFP in the cells. Those that are made permeable have a much higher tendency to express the protein. The discussion
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