THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY THOMAS DEERINCK, NCMIR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mycoplasma mycoides, coloured transmission electron micrograph (TEM). M. mycoides has a very small genome (total genetic material), which researchers find beneficial when exploring new genetic engineering techniques. In June 2007, a team at the J. Craig Venter Institute, USA, transplanted M. mycoides DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) that had been modified in the lab into M. capricolum bacteria whose genome had been removed. DNA contains sections, called genes, which encode the cell's structure, function and behaviour. After the DNA was inserted, the M. capricolum bacterium took on all the characteristics that were coded for by the genes present in the new DNA. Magnification: x42,000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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