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Virus samples being stored in liquid nitrogen

Virus samples being stored in liquid nitrogen

G200/0055

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Credit

H. RAGUET / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY H. RAGUET / EURELIOS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Recombinant virus research. Samples of genetically engineered (recombinant) viruses being frozen in liquid nitrogen for storage. Viruses are used as vectors for introducing new genes into cells. Once a virus infects a cell it inserts its own genes (DNA) into the cell's genetic material, causing it to produce more viruses. The virus can be genetically-engineered so that when it infects a cell, it inserts DNA that causes the cell to produce a specific chemical. Bacteria may be infected to produce novel chemicals, whilst the virus may be used on humans (gene therapy) to make their cells produce an essential chemical & so cure a disease.

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