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Thread: Human DNA in bacteria

  1. #1 Human DNA in bacteria 
    Forum Sophomore Dkav's Avatar
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    what would happen if you replaced bacterial DNA with a humans dna in a bacterium?
    does anyone know of any experiments like or close to this?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Junior JennLonhon's Avatar
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    Bacterias are used to implant human DNA, for creating substances we need, such insulin is for example....


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    It may or may not express a functional protein, bacteria lack the ability to do certain post transcriptional modifications, sometimes this can be got around by altering the gene implanted, i.e. removing the introns by using cDNA derived from mRNA.

    You also have to disable some of the pseudo-immune functions of the bacteria that target foreign DNA and proteins. These strains of E. coli are readily available today.
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    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    I dont know what would happen and part of that might depend on the environment in which the human-dna baceria finds itself, but it were alone in a Petri dish and turn into a libertarian neuron thinking "I'm a free single cell and on my own dont you mess with my own private property, yeehaa!", then it would find that the environment might not be as great as it is when other human cells are around. :wink:
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    Forum Sophomore Dkav's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    It may or may not express a functional protein, bacteria lack the ability to do certain post transcriptional modifications
    This is in part what makes them different from eukaryotes right? So what about replacing bacterial DNA into a human skin cell, will it just die or can it become a bacteria? Is it known how much of the genome is interchangeable where it doesn't interfere with the viability of that cell?
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  7. #6  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    No, well a human skin cell is gigantic in comparison to a bacterium, and it requires a good number of complex genes to keep it running properly. Just as a matter of scale most bacteria are roughly the size of a mitochondria, and there are multiple mitochondria within a eukaryotic cell.

    More to your point I think is the question of whether eukaryotes have the ability to express bacterial genes, and the answer to that is probably sometimes. The problem again is those post-transcriptional modifications, different amino acid arrangements may result in different processing in eukaryotes that would result in a non-functional protein. That doesn't mean that there aren't any bacterial proteins you can insert into a eukaryote and get a functional protein. A good example of this is Bt toxin in GM plants, the toxin gene was derived from a bacterial insect pathogen. Plants express the simple toxin quite effectively. In recent years they have even managed to produce plants that express it only in certain tissues.

    There are also a number of bacterial parasites that take advantage of hijacking eukaryotic cellular machinery, similar to viruses.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_thuringiensis
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agrobacterium_tumefaciens
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