TORUNN BERGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TORUNN BERGE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
DNA plasmids. Coloured atomic force micrograph of numerous pGL3 plasmids of DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid). A plasmid is a loop of DNA that can exist in a cell independently of the cell's chromosomal DNA. Plasmids are important as they can replicate and express genes despite being outside the organism's chromosomes. This means that they can be used to introduce genes to organisms, a process used in gene therapy and genetic engineering. Genes, specific lengths of DNA, determine the development and characteristics of an organism. Atomic force microscopes make an image by moving a sensitive probe over a surface. Magnification: x24,000 at 6x7cm size.
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